Building a Future Together: Worker Centers and Construction Unions

Janice Fine, Jeff Grabelsky, Victor Narro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Why have not worker centers and building trades unions formed alliances to advance their common interests? Why do many construction unionists perceive worker centers as threats? Why do worker centers regard building trades' locals with suspicion? What can be done to promote communication and collaboration between worker centers and labor unions in the construction industry? This article examines the characteristics of both building trades unions and worker centers, analyzes opportunities for collaboration and conflict between the two kinds of organizations, discusses the impact of immigration on construction unionism, and describes two brief examples of building trades union and worker center collaboration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Building trades unions
  • Construction unionism
  • Worker centers


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