Rebuilding the house of labor: unions and worker centers in the residential construction industry.

Theodore, Nik. 

WorkingUSA 18, no. 1 (2015): 59-76.


This article explores strategies for organizing workers in residential construction in light of the decades long restructuring of the industry. It begins by charting the course of this restructuring and the impacts it has had on employment conditions, including changes in union density, the deterioration of labor standards, and the rise of various labor market intermediaries that assist employers in managing contingent labor. The article then turns to day labor and the controversial topic of whether worker centers should operate hiring halls. It argues that, unlike temporary staffing agencies and other labor brokers, the operation of day labor worker centers is complementary to union organizing strategies. These hiring halls help monitor employer practices while also raising the floor on wages and working conditions. It concludes with a call for ongoing innovation in worker organizing.

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