Suburban Sweatshops: The Fight for Immigrant Rights
Jennifer Gordon, SURBURBAN SWEATSHOP: THE FIGHT FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS, Belknap/Harvard University Press, 2005
Posted: 30 Mar 2005
The following is a brief introduction to the book Suburban Sweatshops: The Fight for Immigrant Rights by Professor Gordon.
In 1992, Gordon founded the Workplace Project to help immigrant workers in the underground suburban economy of Long Island, New York. In this book, she tells the unexpected tale of how the most vulnerable workers in society came together to demand fair wages, safe working conditions, and respect from employers. Immigrant workers - many undocumented - won a series of remarkable victories, including a raise of thirty percent for day laborers and a domestic workers' bill of rights. In the process, they transformed themselves into effective political participants. Gordon neither ignores the obstacles faced by such grassroots organizations nor underestimates their potential for fundamental change. She challenges widely held beliefs about the powerlessness of immigrant workers, what a union should be, and what constitutes effective lawyering, and offers a new perspective on the combination of law and organizing strategies to achieve social justice.
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