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The Unexpected Power of Informal Workers in the Public Square: A Comparison of Mexican and US Organizing Models

  • Hugo Sarmiento (a1), Chris Tilly (a1), Enrique de la Garza Toledo (a2) and José Luis Gayosso Ramírez (a2)

Street vendors in Mexico and day laborers in the United States, both groups of informal workers who labor in public space, face formidable structural obstacles to securing their rights as workers. Despite their apparent vulnerability, these informal workers have built perhaps the most powerful informal worker organizations in their countries. In this article, we explore and explain to the extent possible the sources, forms, and limits of this unexpected power. We explore organizational and strategic commonalities as well as differences and seek to explain both.

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International Labor and Working-Class History
  • ISSN: 0147-5479
  • EISSN: 1471-6445
  • URL: /core/journals/international-labor-and-working-class-history
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