Day Labor Quiz

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This guide is a tool for community organizers, teachers and social service providers to examine attitudes towards immigrants, the impact of globalization and the process of labor organizing.

Get additional materials to help facilitate a discussion about "The Workers" in your community.

Websites | Articles | Books | Sources

Day Labor Organizations and Information

National Employment Law Project
With special sections on rights, legislation and strategies for "nonstandard" and immigrant workers, this site is one of the most valuable resources for legal information about day labor.

Day Labor.org
This site for the Day Labor Research Institute provides research and news specifically related to day labor issues, with a focus on California.

National Campaign for Jobs & Income Support
This national coalition of grassroots organizations offers relevant policy advocacy information and studies through its "Day Labor and Contingent Work Campaign."

Center for Policy Alternatives
Section of the Center for Policy Alternatives massive site offers information and sample legislation for contingent and day workers around the country.

The Center to Protect Workers' Rights
With an emphasis on medical information about threats commonly found in many kinds of workplaces, this site features information in Spanish, too, including flyers to help workers protect themselves and obtain proper medical care.

The City/La Ciudad
This companion site to the critically acclaimed PBS drama about Latino immigrants in New York hosts thorough information on coming to America and delves into workers' rights, education issues and the treatment of women immigrants.

Illegal Workers
This special segment on PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer provides an overview of the personal and policy challenges of undocumented workers. Availible as an online transcipt with photos, audio file or video clip.

Spanish in Our Libraries: Library Service to Day Laborers
Primarily for library professionals, this outreach site provides a collection of resources to help develop programs for day labor workers. Features numerous articles, relevant library services and more.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
This site provides an extensive list of NDLON member organizations around the country that work with day laborers, as well as an index of the latest newspaper articles about day labor.

National Training and Information Center Day Labor section
A resource for labor information and event organizing, particularly in the Chicago area.

Immigration and Workers' Rights Organizations

National Immigration Forum
A national coalition dedicated to fair immigration in the U.S., the National Immigration Forum's Web site is a rich resource of news and statistics as well as information about speakers and workshops.

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
The NNIRR is a national organization of coalitions working together on immigration policy and defending the rights of immigrants and refugees. Site includes an online archive of the Network News, the organization's quarterly newsletter.

AFL-CIO Immigrant Workers page
The site for this federation of America's unions contains information about immigrant workers' rights as well as materials about the importance of immigrants to the American economy and labor force. Includes Spanish versions of key sections.

American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights section
Provides news and information about the immigration-related activities, analysis and reports from the ACLU.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The EEOC enforces federal law prohibiting employment discrimination, and its site includes a reference guide for employees (and employers) about federal policies.

Migration News
This online newsletter of breaking news on migration issues and trends around the world features an up-to-date section on the Americas.

Articles and Studies

"On the Corner"
This engaging in-depth Village Voice article on the day labor industry in the New York metropolitan areas profiles diverse workers from Mexican, Polish and Sikh communities.

"Working on the Margins"
From the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, this most cited piece of academic research on day laborers profiles workers in Southern California. Download PDF.

"Day Music on Street Corners: Los Jornaleros del Norte"
Written by a former day laborer, this article profiles a musical group born out of the day labor movement, exploring how some day labor workers work to unite and organize through song.

"Immigrants Account for Half of New Workers"
A Washington Post article looks at an analysis of new census data that highlights the importance of immigrant workers in the present and future economy.


Bogomolny, Abel, ed. New To North America: Writings by U.S. Immigrants and their Children and Grandchildren. Burning Bush, 1997. One of the few collections of writings about the immigrant experience written by a wide range of newcomers.

Breslin, Jimmy. The Short Sweet Life of Eduardo Gutierrez. New York: Crown, 2001. This account of one Mexican worker and his short, tragic stint as a New York construction worker highlights the employer abuses and neglect that haunt the world of illegal labor.

Chavez, Leo. Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1992. A portrait-based look at the lives of undocumented immigrants, focusing on Southern California.

Davis, Mike. Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the U.S. Big City. New York: Verso, 2001. This collection of observations by one of America's preeminent urbanists delivers a good overview of the demographic trends and effects of immigration from the South.

Mahler, Sarah J. American Dreaming: Immigrant Life on the Margins. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995. A blend of interviews and analysis, this book chronicles the struggles of immigrants who have fled troubled homelands in search of a better life in the United States, only to be marginalized by the society they hoped would embrace them.

Martinez, Ruben. Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail. New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2001. An accessible and engaging look at the underground culture of illegal immigration from Mexico.

Portes, Alejandro, and Rumbaut, Ruben G. Immigrant America: A Portrait. Berkeley: University of California, 1996. A comprehensive survey of the major issues raised by immigration to the United States.

Waldinger, Roger and Lichter, Michael. How the Other Half Works: Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor. Berkeley: University of California, 2003. Based on interviews with employers of low-wage labor, the authors examine social dynamics at the bottom of the labor market.

Sources / Day Laborers

Kamber, Michael. "On the Corner," Village Voice, July 25 - 31, 2001.

Lardner, Megan. "Day Labor: Unionizing,"
University of California Institute of Labor and Employment, 2002.

State Action.org, "Contingent or Non-Standard Work."

Abel Valenzuela, Jr., "Working on the Margins: Immigrant Day Labor Characteristics and Prospects for Employment," Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 2000. Download PDF.

"Survey of State Day Labor Legislation,"
National Employment Law Project. Download PDF.

"Permanent Struggle, Temporary Solution: Contracting Out America,"
The National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, 2002. Download PDF.

Sources / Day Labor Quiz

Questions #1, 2, 3: Valenzuela, Abel Jr. "Working on the Margins: Immigrant Day Labor Characteristics and Prospects for Employment." Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, 2000. Download PDF.

Question #3: "Survey of State Day Labor Legislation," National Employment Law Project. Download PDF.

Question #4: "Permanent Struggle, Temporary Solution: Contracting Out America," The National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, 2002. Download PDF.

Question #5: "The World Factbook - Mexico," Central Intelligence Agency, 2001;
"Mexico's December Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.1% from 2.6%," Bloomberg, January 20, 2003;
"Country Profile: Mexico," BBC News.

Question #6: Fix, Michael and Passel, Jeffrey S., et al. "Immigration and Immigrants: Setting the Record Straight." Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., May 1994.

Question #7 and #9: Cohn, D'Vera. "Immigrants Account for Half of New Workers." Washington Post, December 2, 2002.

Question #8: National Immigration Forum

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