Case Studies

Without Papers But Not Without Rights


This case follows Ana S., an undocumented au pair working in Hamburg, Germany. With the assistance of migrant worker organizations and ver.di (a multi-sector union in Germany representing 2.2 million workers), Ana S. was successful in fighting for unpaid wages in the German courts. While this case follows the experience of one migrant worker, it potentially creates a precedent for the courts in Germany to address employment disputes for migrant workers without addressing the legal status of workers.

Laborers Union of North America


This case study examines the Laborers International Union of North America's (LIUNA) organizing and policy work on immigration. In recent years, LIUNA has engaged in a number of immigrant worker organizing efforts, including asbestos and poultry workers as well as weatherization and residential construction campaigns, which involved new partnerships with worker centers- the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, New Labor and Casa Latina. 

Arizona Justice for Roofers, 1999-2006


The Justice for Roofers Campaign case study details the bottom up organization of Latino workers- many of which were undocumented – in an industry plagued by low wages, dangerous working conditions, and high turnover rates. The union's philosophy guided by respect for the workers evidences one of the most innovative and positive approaches seen in organizing immigrant workers in a very difficult industry.

The Case of Somalia Workers in Middle Tennessee: taxi drivers and poultry workers


This paper describes two labor campaigns of recent Somali immigrants working in Tennessee. In the first case, Somali and Ethiopian taxi drivers who are independent contractors faced resistance to traditional unionization and instead create an independent, non-profit organization, the Nashville Metro Taxi Drivers Alliance (NMTDA).

The Griallet Case


This case study analyzes the struggle of undocumented workers at the Griallet construction company in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, in which immigrant workers collaborate with the Local Union of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) to run a successful strike for regularization of their immigration status.

The CFDT-Yveslines case on the "Travailleurs Sans-Papiers"


This case focuses on the work of the Departmental Unit of Yvelines (Versailles Province) of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT-Ivelines) to advance the campaign for regularization of undocumented immigrant workers. Although the national CFDT was involved in the national campaign jointly with the CGT, it remained less involved at the local level except for CFDT Yvelines.