Frontmatter

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Title Page

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Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

About the Authors

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p. vii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book is a valentine to Los Angeles, the city so many love to hate. Almost all of the research for it was conducted in southern California, and my perspective on the material is the product of an extended engagement with the vibrant labor...

Union Acronyms

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p. xiii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-25

Hardly anyone expected them to succeed. But in 1990, after a few years of intensive organizing, a group of immigrant janitors in Los Angeles went on strike, endured a brutal police beating, and then won union recognition. Previously all but invisible...

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1. The "Wicked City": Labor and Los Angeles Exceptionalism

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pp. 26-76

The first wave of significant union growth in Los Angeles took place in the 1930s and 1940s, and it must have been every bit as surprising to contemporaries as the 1990s labor resurgence. In the early years of the twentieth century, the city had hardly seemed...

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2. Turning the Clock Back: Anti-Union Reaction, the Return of the Sweatshop, and the New Immigration

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pp. 77-113

By the 1950s the labor movement in Los Angeles had expanded to the point that the city’s historic reputation as a bulwark of the open shop had become anachronistic. “It is a prosperous movement,” one contemporary noted, “one that has risen from the dead...

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3. Organizing the "Unorganizable": Immigrant Unionization and Labor Revitalization in the 1990s

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pp. 114-144

Next to the abundant economic opportunities available to wage earners in this country, immigration has been the factor most guilty of the incohesiveness of American labor,” Selig Perlman (1928, 168) wrote in his classic 1928 treatise...

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4. "Si, Se Puede": Union Organizing Strategies and Immigrant Workers

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pp. 145-186

Unions in southern California have launched numerous organizing drives among low-wage Latino immigrant workers in recent years, some of which were spectacularly successful.1 This chapter compares two of the best-known success...

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Epilogue and Conclusion

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pp. 187-193

The dynamism of the southern California labor movement in the late twentieth century was the product of a combustible mix of ingredients— a vast immigrant working class strongly predisposed toward collective action; an imaginative...

Appendix A

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pp. 195-197

Appendix B. Adjusting for Changes in the U.S. Decennial Census Industry and Occupation Classifications, 1970 to 2000

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pp. 198-200

Notes

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pp. 201-211

References

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pp. 213-229

Index

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pp. 231-244