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Guest Workers and Resistance to U.S. Corporate Despotism$
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Immanuel Ness

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036279

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036279.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

Who Can Organize? Trade Unions, Worker Insurgency, Labor Power

Who Can Organize? Trade Unions, Worker Insurgency, Labor Power

(p.150) 6 Who Can Organize? Trade Unions, Worker Insurgency, Labor Power
Guest Workers and Resistance to U.S. Corporate Despotism

Immanuel Ness

University of Illinois Press

This chapter investigates the policy and practice of established U.S. labor unions toward migrant labor and guest workers and provides alternative models for building worker power on a global basis. Organized labor operates at a disadvantage as it typically responds rather than acts as capital changes the nature of work to lower wages. Ideally, a proactive labor movement would shape the nature of work. Therefore, U.S. national labor unions and peak organizations have historically opposed all forms of migration. Most notably, in 1986, national unions were instrumental in shaping the employer-sanction provision in the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). However, because legal penalties for hiring undocumented workers are minimal, the law has not deterred employers from hiring them. Furthermore, because minimum wage and hour standards are often unenforced by state and federal government regulatory agencies, undocumented immigrants are frequently more desirable to employers than U.S.-born workers.

Keywords:   U.S. labor unions, migrant labor, guest workers, worker power, organized labor, labor unions, undocumented immigrants, minimum wage

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