"Mobilizing Against Inequality"

Book will detail immigration research in four countries
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Research collected by teams in four nations was shared by Professor Lowell Turner and colleagues at the annual American Economics Association meeting in San Diego on Saturday.

The symposium featured highlights of a study that has produced a book manuscript, recently submitted for review to ILR Press, an imprint of Cornell University Press. The book's working title is "Mobilizing Against Inequality: Unions, Immigrant Workers, and the Crisis of Capitalism."

The manuscript is the culmination of four years of field research in the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. It focuses on case studies of contemporary union strategies toward immigrant workers.

Turner, academic director of the Worker Institute at Cornell, is coediting the book with ILR faculty member Lee Adler and Maite Tapia Ph.D. '13. Book co-authors include Gabriella Alberti, Daniel B. Cornfield, Michael Fichter, Janice Fine, Jane Holgate and Denisse Roca-Servat.

Alberti of Leeds and Cornfield of Vanderbilt University participated in the symposium along with Turner and Adler. Ana AvendaƱo, director of immigration for the AFL-CIO, served as discussant, gave the book manuscript high praise, and outlined labor's coalition-building strategy for the coming nationwide immigration reform campaign.

Researchers in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States began research for the book in 2008. They produced four country literature reviews, 20 in-depth case studies, and four country summary papers to lay the groundwork for the book manuscript.

In November 2011, the researchers met at a two-day workshop in Frankfurt with commentators from trade unions in each of the four countries to discuss findings and work out comparative analysis and policy implications.

The book will be linked, Turner said, to a "living" web page, so that its co-authors can post literature reviews and case studies in full, as well as updates and links to related research networks and publications.

The authors hope, Turner said, "that this book will not 'freeze' with publication, but rather will stimulate ongoing dialogue based on research findings and policy implications."