The Worker Institute at Cornell has announced a new partnership with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON). NDLON, a national network based in Los Angeles, is an alliance of local organizations that works to expand the rights of day laborers.
According to its vision statement, NDLON "aspires to live in a world of diverse communities where day laborers live with full rights and responsibilities in an environment of mutual respect, peace, harmony, and justice."
As part of NDLON's effort to expand its presence in the New York/New Jersey region, program coordinator Nadia Marin and organizers Omar Henriquez and Luis Serrano will be based in New York City and collaborating with Worker Institute colleagues.
"The collaboration will advance the work of both organizations," said Maria Figueroa, co-chair of the institute's Precarious Workers Initiative. The Worker Institute will connect NDLON with faculty and graduate students interested in conducting research pertinent to the interests of day laborers. It will assist NDLON in developing relationships and alliances with more conventional labor unions.
NDLON will also contribute to the partnership in a number of ways. In addition to participating in colloquia and other discussions organized by the Worker Institute, NDLON will help Cornell faculty and students partner with non-traditional worker organizations and conduct research in new areas, such as immigration and the experiences of day laborers.
NDLON brings the collective experience of 13 member organizations in the New York/New Jersey region, such as Don Bosco Workers in Port Chester, NY; Workers Justice Project in Bensonhurst, NY; and Wind of the Spirit in New Jersey, which are spearheading creative approaches to worker education and organizing.
Jeff Grabelsky, the institute's associate director, says this collaboration is part of an ongoing effort to expand upon existing research in the areas of precarious and low-wage work.
"This is the first of many partnerships that the Worker Institute hopes to establish with worker centers and other emerging labor organizations in order to advance the cause of workers' rights and collective representation," Grabelsky says.