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Restructuring Labor Migration Thesis

Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1348064

 

Towards Transnational Labor Citizenship:

Restructuring Labor Migration to Reinforce Workers’ Rights

A Preliminary Report on Emerging Experiments

 

 

Jennifer Gordon

Fordham Law School

January 2009

 

 

 

 

 

Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1348064

GORDON RESTRUCTURING LABOR MIGRATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards Transnational Labor Citizenship: Restructuring Labor Migration to Reinforce Workers’ Rights

A Preliminary Report on Emerging Experiments

 

Jennifer Gordon Fordham Law School

January 2009

 

 

 

 

The author thanks the Ford Foundation for the primary funding for the research

and writing of this report, and also gratefully acknowledges the support of the Dean’s

Office at Fordham Law School and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race,

Ethnicity, and Diversity at the University of California-Berkeley Law School.

 

 

 

GORDON RESTRUCTURING LABOR MIGRATION

 

TOWARDS TRANSNATIONAL LABOR CITIZENSHIP: RESTRUCTURING LABOR MIGRATION

TO REINFORCE WORKERS’ RIGHTS A Preliminary Report on Emerging Experiments

Contents

PROLOGUE….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..1

I. INTRODUCING TRANSNATIONAL LABOR CITIZENSHIP…………….………………………3

A. Low-Wage Labor Migration in the Context of the

United States……..………………………………………………………………………………………3

B. A Response: Transnational Labor Citizenship……………….………………..5

C. Central Principles of Transnational Labor Citizenship………………..7

D. Emerging Experiments……………………………………………………………….……………9

II. ORIGIN COUNTRY ENFORCEMENT OF MIGRANT RIGHTS………………….…………..9

A. Bi-lateral Accords on Low-Wage Labor Migration………………………10

B. Unilateral Efforts by Origin Countries to Protect

Migrant Rights…………………………………………………………………………………………15

C. Contrasting Approaches: Mexico and the Philippines..………………18

D. Challenges and Lessons Learned………………………………………………………..25

III. EMERGING EXPERIMENTS WITH MOBILE LABOR CITIZENSHIP….……………..…27

A. Understanding Mobile Labor Citizenship……………………………………..27

B. The Experiments……………………………………………………………………………..………31

1. Construction: Two Approaches…………………………………………….….31 a. Union-to-Union Worker Referrals…………………………………..………33

b. Partnerships between Origin and Destination

Country Unions……………………………………….…………………………………35

2. Two Industries at the Bottom of the Wage Ladder………………39 a. Agriculture: A Destination Country Union

Builds a Base in an Origin Country…………………………………………..39

b. Domestic Work: An Origin Country Union

Builds a Base in a Destination Country …………………………………..41

C. Challenges and Lessons Learned….……………………………………………………43