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No Man's LandJamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor$
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Cindy Hahamovitch

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691102689

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691102689.001.0001

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Takin’ It to the Courts

Takin’ It to the Courts

Legal Services, the UFW, and the Battle for the Worst Jobs in the World

(p.172) Chapter Eight Takin’ It to the Courts
No Man's Land

Cindy Hahamovitch

Princeton University Press

This chapter details the conflict between domestic workers and guestworkers as the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), with the Florida Rural Legal Services, became involved in a struggle for “the worst jobs in the world.” Florida Rural was working to transform every aspect of farmworkers' lives. Its lawyers sued to gain access to labor camps, to integrate those camps, to get workers transported in buses rather than flatbed trucks, to get any Florida county to set up a Food Stamp program, to get farmworkers paid what they were owed, and to enforce local sanitation and housing ordinances. And although Florida Rural took all sorts of cases—including straight forward divorce and landlord–tenant cases—a great deal of their time would be spent suing on behalf of Caribbean guestworkers who alleged exploitation by sugarcane companies and to prove that domestic workers had been unfairly deprived of those same miserable jobs.

Keywords:   domestic workers, Florida Rural Legal Services, United Farm Workers of America, UFW, Caribbean guestworkers, 1970s, sugarcane company

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