Forthcoming 13 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy (#3, September 2004) Japanese translation forthocoming Horitsu Junpo (September 2004).


Recent advocacy campaigns for low-wage service workers in New York City reveal a new pattern of representation by legal avocacy groups (like National Employment Law Project or law school clinics), governmental actors (like the state Attorney General or New York City Council), and immigrant rights groups. Such campaigns have won important economic and legal victories for Mexican workers in Korean greengroceries, West African delivery personnel for supermarkets and drug chains, and domestic workers. They have not, however, institutionalized workplace or political representation for these groups. Unions have either been passive, outmaneuvered, or played negative roles in these campaigns. This pattern of representation is likely to continue, but, given the incentives of the various actors, unlikely to produce stable patterns of representation.


Labor and Employment Law

Date of this Version

December 2004