Workers Around the Country

Below is a select list of books, news stories, and opinion pieces that mention unseen workers and workers’ rights.


Hidden AmericaHidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work
by Jeanne Marie Laskas


Working Poor
The Working Poor: Invisible In America
by David K. Shipler


New Labor in NY Image

New Labor in New York
edited by Ruth Milkman and Ed Ott


Nickel and Dimed

Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
by Barbara Ehrenreich




No Snow Days For Low -Wage Workers by E. Tammy Kim
In the region affected by the storm, over 577,000 workers labor at or below the minimum wage. They are overrepresented in the service sector and thus unlikely to get a paid snow day — maids, nannies, home health aides, taxi drivers, fast-food cooks, grocery store stockers and janitors, to name a few.”
Al Jazeera America, January 26, 2015


A Growing Economic Recovery Bypasses Low-Wage Workers And Their Tables by Rachel L. Swarns
“He works as a busboy in Manhattan, clearing plates and wiping tables at an Italian restaurant for about $450 a week when the tips are good. It is not enough to keep groceries in the refrigerator, he said, barely enough to cover the rent. So his heart sank when his 6-year-old daughter handed him her Christmas list.”
The New York Times, December 14, 2014


We the Economy: The Value of Work by documentary filmmaker Steve James
“Heated debate over increasing the minimum wage centers around the unprecedented passing of $15-an-hour legislation in Seattle.”
AOL, October 21, 2014


Maria Fernandes, Who Worked 4 Jobs, Dies While Napping In Car by David Moye
“A New Jersey woman who worked four jobs to make ends meet has died while napping in her car between shifts.”
The Huffington Post
, August, 28, 2014


Invisibles At Work, Take A Bow! by Richard Eisenberg
“Let us now praise ‘invisible’ men and women in the workforce. That’s what David Zweig argues in his fascinating new book, Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion.”
Forbes, June 27, 2014


Seattle Approves $15 Minimum Wage by Gregory Wallace
“Seattle’s city council on Monday unanimously approved an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it the nation’s highest by far.”
CNN Money, June 3, 2014


I Work in Fast Food and I’m Not a Teenager by Patrick M. Sheridan
“A key argument behind the latest wave of strikes to raise wages to $15 an hour is that fast food workers these days are no longer just teenagers looking for pocket change. They are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low, in most cases below poverty level.”
CNN Money, May 30, 2014


The Republican War on Workers’ Rights by Corey Robin
“Wage theft refers to the practice among employers of taking money from their employees by illegally paying them less than the minimum wage or not paying them overtime. According to one multicity study, in a single week, nearly two-thirds of low-wage workers had, on average, 15 percent of their pay stolen by their employers.”
The New York Times, May 18, 2014


May Day Rally in NYC for Workers’, Immigrants’ Rights by Shawn McCreesh and Ben Wolford
Thousands of protesters rallying for workers’ and immigrants’ rights marched from Union Square to City Hall and Zuccotti Park Thursday for a May Day March.”
AM New York
, May 1, 2014


Inequality, Dignity and Freedom by Paul Krugman
“It’s all very well to talk in the abstract about the dignity of work, but to suggest that workers can have equal dignity despite huge inequality in pay is just silly.”
The New York Times, February 13, 2014


A DREAMer Won A Grammy Last Night by Adrian Carrasquillo
“We dedicate this award to the more than 11 million undocumented people that live and work really hard in this country, and that still need to live a more dignified life in this country!”

BuzzFeed, January 27, 2014


Dignity for Farmworkers by Kerry Kennedy
“Rather than dwell on the flimsy claims of those determined to stand on the wrong side of history, let us celebrate a momentous and hard-fought victory on behalf of the three million farmworkers who toil to give America its daily bread.”
The New York Times, January 24, 2014


10 Inspiring Stories of Everyday Heroes by Kyle Almond
“They clean up rivers, build homes for disabled veterans and bring health care to some of the darkest parts of the world. They help children who are fighting cancer, poverty and a lack of opportunity. These are the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2013.”
CNN, October 10, 2013


Framingham Celebration to Spotlight Domestic Workers by Danielle Ameden
“A photo exhibition will showcase Cambridge photojournalist Mario Quiroz-Servellon’s classic, black-and-white portraits of local home workers.”
The MetroWest Daily News, July 29, 2013


New York City Fast-Food Workers: Everyone Deserves a Living Wage by Richard Trumka
“These men and women work hard. Fast-food workers are being mistreated, and they’re underpaid. They feed our country. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. In New York City, workers in the fast-food industry only make 25% of the money they need to survive.”
AFL-CIO, April 5, 2013


Artist Pays Homage to L.A.’s Unseen Workers by Esmeralda Bermudez
“Ramiro Gomez’s cardboard cutouts of nannies, gardeners, valets and housekeepers have appeared, in silent tribute, around the wealthy districts of the city.”
Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2012