Organizing temporary, subcontracted, and immigrant workers: Lessons from change to win’s warehouse workers united campaign.

De Lara, Juan D., Ellen R. Reese, and Jason Struna.

Labor Studies Journal 41, no. 4 (2016): 309-332.


Since 2008, Warehouse Workers United (WWU) has organized thousands of low-wage warehouse workers in Southern California’s Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, many of whom are temporary, subcontracted, and immigrant workers. Warehouse Workers Resource Center (WWRC), formed in 2011, has provided additional legal services and other resources to warehouse workers. Combining protest tactics, a legal and media strategy, and a commodity chain organizing strategy, WWU and WWRC helped warehouse workers to win back millions of dollars of stolen wages and to pass new regulatory legislation for employers of warehouse workers. In coalition with other labor organizations, they also obtained an agreement by Walmart to improve its workplace safety standards. This case study, based on field research and interviews with key informants, provides important lessons for those seeking to organize marginalized workers in other industries and regions.

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