New forms to settle old scores: Updating the worker centre story in the United States

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Worker centres have emerged to address issues that low wage, largely immigrant workers, face at the workplace. They are attempting to fill a void left by the decline of labour unions, local political parties and other groups. Centres have had some significant organizing and public policy successes and have placed labour standards enforcement on the public policy agenda at the state and national levels. During their formative years, these organizations displayed important strengths but also exhibited weaknesses that appeared to limit their ability to get to scale. Over the last five years, they have moved into a new phase of development. Centres have shown institutional resilience. There is also a growing trend both toward federation and formation of institutional partnerships with unions and government. Finally, centres and their national networks are playing strategic roles in broader movement building around immigrant rights, global justice and the right to organize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-630
Number of pages27
JournalRelations Industrielles
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


  • Hybrid forms
  • Immigrant worker organizing
  • Worker centres


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