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
Alan Hyde, "Who Speaks for the Working Poor?: A Preliminary Look at the Emerging Tetralogy of Representation of Low-Wage Service Workers" (December 2004). Rutgers Law School (Newark) Faculty Papers. Working Paper 12.