Synchronizing meanings and other day laborer organizing strategies: Lessons from Denver.

Camou, Michelle. “

Labor studies journal 34, no. 1 (2009): 39-64.


Day labor centers have been proposed as a mechanism for curbing the exploitation and abusive conditions faced by immigrant day laborers soliciting work from urban street corners. Transitioning day laborers from street corners to centers is certainly not easy, and it involves active organizing. This article examines efforts to organize day laborers toward a day labor center in Denver, Colorado. The author finds that a key strategic consideration in organizing day laborers toward centers involves questions about the meanings and purposes of day labor centers. In Denver, organizers and day laborers held different notions of what centers should be and should mean, with organizers emphasizing solidarity and collective action and day laborers emphasizing material reward. Strategically, reconciling collectivist and materialist views of day labor centers is an important task of day labor organizing.

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