Kate S. Woodall

Document Type

Book Review

First Page



In Suburban Sweatshops, Jennifer Gordon paints a bleak picture of the current state of undocumented workers’ rights in suburban America’s service industry. As immigration law is increasingly interpreted to limit the rights of undocumented workers, undocumented immigrants are having a harder time organizing to demand workplace rights. In the face of this increasing exploitation, however, Gordon finds hope in alternatives to the traditional union structure. She focuses on the efforts of the Workplace Project, a Long Island worker center, to advocate for immigrant workers through participation in the political process and geographic organization. This Book Review examines the legal framework in which suburban sweatshops thrive and explores the effectiveness of alternative organizing groups, such as the Workplace Project, in effecting change for undocumented workers. Through the political process and geographic organization, worker centers around the nation have met with limited success in combating the abuse of undocumented immigrant workers.