Protecting Human Rights in a Global Economy:
The Impact of Government Responses to Day Labor Markets
This report combines statistical and qualitative methods to analyze the human rights impact of different government policies upon day laborers. Day labor markets bring contractors looking for low- to semi-skilled manual labor for small contracts often lasting only a day together with workers willing to provide this type of flexible labor. Although these markets are nothing new in the United States, their rapid growth in suburban areas reflects changes in the global economy. Along with restrictive immigration laws, these changes have made immigrant workers vulnerable to a range of human rights abuses. In this context, government policy responses to day labor markets play important roles in upholding our nation's commitment to human rights.
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The Long Island Day Labor Study was made possible through financial support from the Sociological Initiatives Foundation, the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Sociology at Hofstra University, and the Center for the Study of Labor and Democracy at Hofstra University. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies. Copies of working papers are available from the authors, and may not be reproduced without permission. A complete list of CLD working papers is available on the Internet at: http://www.hofstra.edu/cld.
GREGORY M. MANEY
Department of Sociology
Department of Anthropology
NADIA MARIN MOLINA
Day Labor Organizer
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
GREGORY M. MANEY, Ph.D. in Sociology (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001); MSc in Labor Studies (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1994); Assistant Professor of Sociology, Hofstra University (2001-present). His research has appeared in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, including the American Journal of Sociology; International Journal of Conflict Management; Mobilization; Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change; Sociological Perspectives, and Social Problems.
ELIZABETH CAMPISI, Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology (SUNY Albany); M.A. in Public Affairs and Policy (SUNY Albany, 1993). She is the site coordinator of the Freeport Community Worklink Center, the Village's official hiring site. Her research focus is on migration and trauma. Her first article appeared in the Journal of Latino Studies.
NADIA MARIN MOLINA, Executive Director of the Workplace Project. She designed and founded the Cooperatives Program, helping Project members establish cooperatives in landscaping and housecleaning take control of their work. She graduated from New York University School of Law, where she was a recipient of a Public Service Scholarship in recognition of her work with the Latino community. In 2001, she received the prestigious Gloria Steinem Award for building the leadership and advocacy skills of Latino immigrant domestic workers, empowering them to challenge exploitative employers, on-the-job abuse, and substandard pay.
CARLOS CANALES, Day Labor Organizer of the Workplace Project. Fleeing El Salvador's civil war in 1986, he has become well known and highly respected among day laborers on Long Island. He has successfully assisted day laborers in organizing to secure payment of wages owed by contractors. He has appeared on CNN's "American Morning" and has been quoted extensively in major U.S. newspapers.
The Workplace Project/Centro de Derechos Laborales was founded in 1992. It is the only nonprofit organization on Long Island, and one of a few in the country that organizes low-wage Latino immigrants to fight for better working and living conditions. The Workplace Project's mission is to fight the exploitation of Latino immigrant workers on Long Island through organization, support by community education, development of worker-owned cooperatives, leadership training and labor-related legal support. We currently have worker committees in the areas of day labor, factory, building maintenance, and domestic work.
The Center for the Study of Labor and Democracy (CLD) is a nonprofit research institute that aims to expand public understanding and discussion of important issues facing working people. CLD pursues a distinctive interdisciplinary research approach designed to produce policy-relevant studies of labor problems and institutions, extending from the local Long Island and New York City labor markets to national and global labor issues. The Center conducts original research, designs and implements surveys, organizes lectures, workshops, seminars and conferences, and publishes periodic reports and working papers.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Greg Maney
Department of Sociology
Hempstead, NY 11549
Tel: (516) 463-6182
E-mail: Email Greg Maney
Nadia Marin Molina
The Workplace Project
91 North Franklin Street
Hempstead, NY 11550
Tel: (516) 565-5377