Immigrant workers in two eras: Struggles and successes in silicon valley

David N. Pellow, Glenna Matthews

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

California's Santa Clara Valley, now world famous as Silicon Valley,1 was also famous during an earlier period as one of the world's leading fruit-growing and processing centers, home to thousands of acres of orchards and several dozen canneries and dried-fruit packing plants. In this chapter, we compare and contrast the struggles to improve production workers' labor conditions in both the fruit and electronics industries; these workers were predominantly immigrant women. Ultimately, the cannery workers achieved considerable success in improving their situation by forming and defending a union, whereas the electronics workers have yet to unionize, though they have struggled valiantly and have won battles in other arenas, such as the fight for environmental justice. It is important to acknowledge and understand the cannery workers' unionization victories because these successes challenge those who believe it is impossible to organize vulnerable immigrant women workers, either in labor unions or for other purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChallenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry
Subtitle of host publicationLabor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry
EditorsTed Smith, David Sonnenfeld, David N. Pellow
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia, PA
PublisherTemple University Press
Pages129-138
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781592133291
StatePublished - 2006

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