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14 Why Aren't High-Tech Workers Organized? Lessons in Gender, Race, and Nationality from Silicon Valley
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Why Aren't High-Tech Workers Organized?
Lessons in Gender, Race, and Nationality from Silicon Valley

Karen J. Hossfeld

Editor's Introduction

"We'll show a real interest in unions when they show a real interest in us."
—Margarita, a Mexicana assembly worker in Silicon Valley

Since the 1930s, the character of the California economy has profoundly changed. The state had a significant manufacturing base by the 1930s, as Gerald Nash argues persuasively in his book World War II and the West: Reshaping the Economy (1990), but it was the Second World War that transformed California into a major manufacturing power. The Cold War further stimulated this transformation. Industries directly and indirectly tied to defense, especially aerospace, flourished, as did basic industries such as steel, oil, chemicals, clothing, and automobiles.

Employment in California grew rapidly. Between 1950 and 1980, while older regions of the country were suffering from severe structural unemployment, California's labor force grew by 250 percent. A key factor in this postwar economic prosperity was technical innovation. Waves of federal spending during World War H and afterward played a major role not simply in expanding the California economy but also in placing the state in the vanguard of the postwar high-technology revolution.

Since the end of World War II, the center of much of California's high-technology industry has been the Santa Clara Valley, now commonly called Silicon Valley. Largely as a result of the high-tech sector, employment in Santa Clara County doubled in the 1940s and 1950s. Between 1960 and 1980, four hundred thousand new jobs were created in Silicon Valley. By 1980, Silicon Valley was creating 20 percent of all high-technology jobs in the United States and contained more than two thousand high-tech companies.

Unlike most manufacturing industries in the United States, high-tech is almost entirely nonunion. Despite a few attempts by several unions, labor


organizers estimate that fewer than 6 percent of production workers in Silicon Valley are organized. This failure is not unique to the region; the union movement has failed dismally at organizing a significant number of workers in any semiconductor or computer manufacturing firm anywhere.

In this selection, Karen Hossfeld examines the reasons for the failure of the union movement to take hold in Silicon Valley. Hossfeld's study is based on two hundred interviews with workers and their families, labor organizers, and employers, including in-depth interviews with more than eighty immigrant women workers from various Third World countries.

Hossfeld argues that the obstacles to union organizing efforts are formidable. The work force is divided by race, language, and nationality. Physically, the workers employed by a single company are often dispersed among several plants. Management threats to relocate or automate when faced with unionization have had a chilling effect. Furthermore, international unions have not demonstrated much commitment to organizing high-tech workers. Unions have not appreciated the importance to women of issues such as comparable worth, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and child care. Patriarchal ideology and structures are also obstacles: Union involvement is not encouraged by most male heads of households, and motherhood and domestic chores impose demands on women that leave little time for union involvement. Hossfeld argues that unions must alter their priorities and devise new strategies to have a reasonable prospect of organizing high-tech workers.

This article examines the problems of labor organizing in the high-tech manufacturing industry in Silicon Valley, California.[1] Microelectronics manufacturing is the largest and fastest-growing manufacturing industry in the world, and Silicon Valley is the industry's birthplace and reigning capital. An estimated two hundred thousand people work in the high-tech industry in California's Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley) region, approximately 20 percent of them in manufacturing production. Yet unions have paid little or no attention to organizing the industry's production


workers. Working conditions for line operatives are notoriously dangerous and insecure, but Silicon Valley, like the high-tech industry worldwide, remains almost exclusively nonunionized. Unions do continue to wage organizing campaigns in older, more traditional industries such as auto and steel, despite the decreasing relative size and economic influence of these industries. So why aren't unions devoting more attention to an industry that is growing? In an era when the labor movement needs to bolster its declining membership in order to survive, why aren't high-tech workers being organized?

These questions are important both to Silicon Valley workers and to the labor movement in general, for Silicon Valley is viewed by global industrialists as a prototype, not only in terms of its new technologies but also in terms of labor arrangements. If organized labor is once again to become vital in the United States, it must come to grips with the types of challenges and failures it faces in Silicon Valley.

What are these challenges? Labor leaders have argued, quite legitimately, that the microelectronics industry's ability to easily "emigrate and automate" its production facilities is a strong deterrent to organizing efforts (although automation remains very costly, and workers in the "offshore" locations that the industry has favored are in many cases actually proving to be more likely to organize than workers in the United States).[2] Silicon Valley employers have also engaged in savvy union-busting strategies. But there are other major barriers to organizing that union leaders have not as readily acknowledged: namely, gender, race, and nationality dynamics, not only within the workplace but also outside it. Silicon Valley operatives, like their peers in high-tech assembly shops overseas, are predominantly Third World women.[3] The class concerns of these women workers are intricately entwined with their concerns based on gender, ethnic identity, and nationality, with their needs as wives, mothers, and members of ethnic and immigrant communities. Just as it is no coincidence that employers have focused on hiring this specific work force,[4] it is also no coincidence, my research suggests, that unions have been unable (and perhaps, in some cases, unwilling) to organize this work force.

This essay first provides an overview and a history of trade union organizing efforts in Silicon Valley and looks at management strategies to combat these efforts. It then focuses on how other dynamics affect the potential for labor organizing in the region's factories: sexism, racism, and national chauvinism within unions; gender arrangements in workers' households; and, finally, the ethnic and national identities of workers.


The discussion is based on data drawn from a larger field study of the lives and labors of Third World immigrant women workers in Silicon Valley.[5] Conducted between 1982 and 1993, the study includes more than two hundred interviews with workers, family members, union organizers, and employers. In-depth, open-ended interviews were conducted with eighty-four women workers who have emigrated from a total of twenty-one Third World countries. I also interviewed an additional group of workers, both immigrant and nonimmigrant, male and female, who were introduced to me by union contacts specifically because of their active union involvement. Although I present comments from this group, they are not included in my statistical references, as they were not representative of my target population, which was more randomly selected, consisted exclusively of immigrant women, and was decidedly less pro-union. The largest nationality groups both in my study and in the general production-line labor force in Silicon Valley are Mexican, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese.

According to other researchers' estimates, Third World immigrant women account for between 68 and 90 percent of the operative labor force in Silicon Valley high-tech shops.[6] In the nineteen plants I observed (independent of conducting interviews with workers), the count averaged 90 percent. Collectively, the workers interviewed had been employed by more than thirty local microelectronics production companies, including large, well-known, vertically integrated firms, such as National Semiconductor and Advanced Micro Devices, and smaller, subcontracting assembly shops.

No trade union has ever won a shop floor vote in a Silicon Valley production firm, despite several past campaigns. Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, organized by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Lodge 508, and electronics distributor Wyle Labs, organized by the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, Local 6, might be seen as exceptions, but they are not primarily engaged in semiconductor or computer manufacturing. In addition, these shops were organized before Santa Clara County's transformation into the high-tech-dominated Silicon Valley; the Machinists, for example, won their first contract with Lockheed in 1957. Organizers estimate that fewer than 6 percent of production workers in the local high-tech industry belong to unions. This situation is not specific to Silicon Valley: Nationwide, no merchant semiconductor or computer manufacturing firms are organized, in contrast to most manufacturing industries in the United States.

Two of the organizers I interviewed attribute this problem to the relative newness of the industry, with organizers and workers just beginning


to get their bearings on a system still in formation. But several Silicon Valley manufacturing firms have now been around for twenty-five years—time enough for "newness" to be ruled out as the leading deterrent to organizing. Because high-tech has become a leading basic industry and is growing rapidly, it would seem logical for unions to target the industry as a high priority. Yet as of this writing in 1994, not one single full-time organizer was employed by a union to organize Silicon Valley high-tech production workers.[7] Have unions given up on the region and the industry? Have they temporarily retreated after a few important, but not historically atypical, setbacks? Are high-tech workers simply not "unionizable" compared to other workers?

The failure of Silicon Valley organizing drives must be located in the context of declining worker support for organized labor nationwide. In the American work force as a whole, union membership has been steadily declining since World War II. Between 1975 and 1985, it dropped from 29 percent of the total nonfarm work force to only 19 percent.[8] This decline has caused consternation among unions and other labor rights advocates and has sparked controversial debate about the future direction of and need for union activities.

The inability of traditional labor unions to organize Silicon Valley's workers is an important feature of the new international and gender division of labor within the high-tech industry. Whether this feature will persist or extend to other industries is not yet clear, but it is an important possibility for organized labor to consider. Union failure in Silicon Valley is not inevitable; unions have in the past dealt successfully with changes in the organization of work and the composition of the work force. In the 1930s, for example, American unions successfully adapted to the shift from craft to industrial work—although the adaptation came two decades after the shift in production began in the pre-World War I years.

The primary unions that in fact have tried to organize Silicon Valley shops are the Glaziers (Glaziers, Architectural Metal and Glassworkers Union), UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers), and the Machinists (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers). Nationally, the Communication Workers of America (CWA) has also focused its sights on the high-tech manufacturing industry, conducting campaigns at companies located in Massachusetts's Route 128 region, such as Wang Laboratories, Digital Equipment, and Honeywell.[9] When I conducted my preliminary field research in the early and mid-1980s, UE was organizing


worker committees at Signetics in Sunnyvale and National Semiconductor in Santa Clara, and the Glaziers were conducting a mass campaign at Atari. In addition, the Santa Clara County Central Labor Council, which coordinates 104 union locals and district councils, was involved in encouraging campaigns. Since the 1970s, at least seven concerted organizing drives have targeted specific plants in the valley. Union campaigns at Siliconix, Signetics, and National Semiconductor never reached the stage of elections. Campaigns that did hold elections—at Semimetals West, Xidex, Raytheon, and, most recently, Atari—failed to win a majority of worker votes.

The Glaziers' (Local 1621) campaign to organize Sunnyvale-based Atari's 3,000 employees in the early 1980s was one of the valley's most noted union drives. In 1982, the Glaziers announced that they had collected enough signature cards—from 30 percent of eligible employees, as required by law—to call an election. The company, which manufactures coin-operated video games and home computers, fought back in full force. Management circulated an anti-union petition, which supervisors pressured workers to sign, and began inviting production workers to unprecedented company-sponsored parties, according to workers and Glaziers organizer Ed Jones. Jones also collected signed affidavits from workers who were threatened by supervisors because of their union support. The union lost some support and had to cancel its petition for election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), but the campaign continued.

In February 1983, while the Glaziers were gearing up for another election bid, Atari announced that it was laying off 1,700 employees and relocating production to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Atari spokesperson Bruce Entin claimed that the decision to relocate was based solely on cost considerations and had no connection to the union drive. Ed Jones and pro-union workers are convinced otherwise, according to interviews. Since the massive layoffs, the Glaziers have been unable to gain the required 30 percent of signatures from eligible workers on Atari's one remaining production line in the valley.

Typically in Silicon Valley, employers such as Atari argue that unions are unsuccessful because working conditions are already favorable to workers, making unions unnecessary and anachronistic. In contrast, organizers claim that unions are greatly needed in what is a very unfavorable work climate but that the industry's anti-union campaigns and its ability to relocate foil all attempts at organizing. Unions insist that they have a great deal to offer all workers, including women and immigrants, in terms of tangible benefits. According to Department of Labor statistics, women workers have even more to gain from union membership than males do in


terms of wages. Male union members who worked full time earned an average of 18 percent more than their nonunion male peers in 1986 ($482 a week compared to $394), whereas female union members earned 25 percent more than their nonunion women peers ($368 a week compared to $274).[10] Women who work under union contracts also enjoy greater health care, retirement, and vacation benefits than those not under contract.[11]

Organizers in Silicon Valley stress that unions offer working parents their best chance for winning child care provisions and parental leave and also offer immigrants much-needed legal advocacy. They stress union commitment to protecting workers against problems to which high-tech manufacturing jobs are particularly prone: unsafe use of toxic chemicals in the work process, frequent layoffs, plant relocations, and automation. It is around these issues, as well as wages and benefits, that union organizers in Silicon Valley have tried to rally workers.

Yet national trade unions have not demonstrated a major commitment to or investment in organizing high-tech workers, according to frustrated local union activists. This is illustrated by the lack of commitment to the development of a full-time organizing staff. Without a greater allocation of resources, the hope of organizing high-tech workers locally or nationally remains slim. Lack of material support from union headquarters was a central problem pointed out by all the organizers with whom I talked. That unions have not focused more energy on the largest manufacturing industry in the United States is, in former UE organizer Mike Eisenscher's words, "a frightening condemnation of the labor movement."[12]

Local union activists justifiably argue that this limited show of sustained support dampens workers' confidence in the potential of unions. The high-tech production workers I interviewed do not consider unions capable of helping them achieve better working conditions or job security. In fact, the majority of those interviewed believe that union organizing drives threaten their jobs, for management's threats to automate or relocate if unions succeed have not been empty. Organizers consider Atari's decision to relocate overseas in the midst of a promising union campaign to be a prime example of management making good on its anti-union threats. When asked what they thought would happen if their manufacturing workers unionized, all of the employers I interviewed told me that they would probably relocate production. Whether or not all employers are actually prepared to follow through on this, relocation is financially and physically possible at most manufacturing facilities, and the threat is clearly articulated to workers. One of the comments I heard most frequently from workers was, "If we unionize, the company will move away."


But, in addition, an equally frequent comment was, "Unions don't improve anything, anyway."

It has been extremely difficult for unions to attempt to organize a labor force that is not only severely divided by language, race, and nationality but also often spatially and geographically spread out between multiple plants within one firm. Atari, for example, had several plants in Sunnyvale, Milpitas, and San Jose at the time of the Glaziers' organizing drive. Organizers point to these as key problems, along with the very real threats of plant relocation and automation.

Also important is the concerted effort Silicon Valley employers have mounted to keep the high-tech manufacturing industry union-free. Management has a strong vested interest in keeping unions out of the microelectronics industry. Chief among management's fears, undoubtedly, are wage increases and benefits. Wages in more organized industries are significantly higher than in high-tech: Steel and aerospace workers in the mid-1980s, for example, earned an average of approximately $12 an hour, autoworkers $12.50. The average hourly wage of skilled (nonassembly) workers at electronics equipment companies during the same period was only $9.62[13] —and workers labeled "unskilled" and "semiskilled," such as the ones in subcontracted assembly work, usually earn half that.

Other concerns, not directly wage-related, are also central to employers' hostility toward unions. Tougher occupational health and safety standards; responsibility for the medical effects of occupational hazards; job security; input concerning the introduction of new technologies such as automation; grievance procedures; retraining and severance pay for laid-off workers—all these are issues that union campaigns have emphasized and that managers and employers complained about. "It's very simple," according to a subcontractor named Robert. "Unions cost too much, and they try to tell us what to do. I started this company because I wanted to do things my way. If they think their way is better, let them start their own companies." Steve, the production manager at a large assembly firm, commented: "If we made all the changes that [one union organizer] wanted, this would be a real cushiony place to work—and a lousy place to try to pull down an executive paycheck. The assemblers would be making as much as me!"

Several large high-tech firms, purportedly in connection with the American Electronics Association (AEA), have employed the services of union-busting law firms to combat union campaigns. Production supervisors and mid-level managers report that they have been shown training films and given lectures on such subjects as "keeping our company union-free,"


"dealing with outside agitation," and "the importance of an 'independent' work force." During my field research, managers at three firms invited me to "union prevention" seminars offered by their employers. Such inhouse seminars have been common at larger firms, while smaller firms are more likely to send their managers out to attend similar courses offsite.

In 1983, the AEA published a report on union activity in the industry, crediting management tactics with stopping unionization. Workers and organizers also attest to management's large repertoire of anti-union tactics, from the simple to the costly. Several workers acknowledged that company spokespersons had warned them against unions. I saw newsletters from two companies telling employees that if they unionized, the companies would have no choice but to automate or relocate. Union organizers confirm that this is a standard tactic used by Silicon Valley employers. It is a tactic that is both ideological and pragmatic; whereas some companies only threaten, others, like Atari, actually move. Management does not tell workers that unions are harmful to profits because they lead to wage and benefit increases. Rather, they contend that unions lead to "bureaucratic overload and inflexibility that slows production," as one corporate leader told me, and "cut down on the company's ability to create [its] own set of benefits and type of work environment that are far better than any a union could provide."

Workers who have been identified with unionization drives report that they have been persecuted and fired. Although very few of the immigrant women operatives in my main sample had been involved with organizing drives, almost all had heard stories about other workers who were harassed or laid off when they got involved with unions. The comments made by Rui, a Chinese assembly worker, are typical of the attitudes these workers expressed:

I could never risk my boss thinking I'm with [the union trying to organize her shop at the time]. They find a reason to fire you if they think you are involved. They say you're not doing good work anymore, or that they don't need so many people. Or they put you in a dangerous job, to try to make you quit. This already happened to two of the girls—and one was not even in the union, she was just friends with the girl who was. I can't afford that—I have three kids, and my husband is already out sick.

In one of the more extreme cases, a woman worker at Signetics was fired for her union organizing activities. Her co-workers protested and filed grievances. In 1984, the National Labor Relations Board ordered the laid-off worker reinstated (which she declined) and given back pay of $42,500.[14] Workers at other firms facing union drives also told me that


organizers are routinely transferred and harassed, passed over for promotion, and fired first during layoffs. Immigrant workers at two assembly plants that do subcontracting work for "famous" large semiconductor companies told me that managers led them to believe that they could be deported for union activities—even if they were in the United States legally. Employers and managers generally deny these charges, but Ed, a Korean immigrant who works as a line supervisor at one of the large firms facing a union drive, told me, "It's standard policy to get rid of the troublemakers. If unions come in, it will hurt everyone—so we weed out the agitators, to protect the company and all of our jobs."

Management thus seems to take the union "threat" seriously, especially during periods of local union activism. While the campaign at Atari was going on, administrators at three other companies I visited were concerned that I was an undercover union organizer and denied me entrance to their plants. During the same period, employers at two other plants, when asked if they were aware of any union activities, took the opportunity to vilify Dave Bacon, a UE organizer who was well known for his radical activism. One employer said about Bacon: "He's a one-man, son-of-a-bitch troublemaker." Managers at firms that were not being targeted also knew the names and descriptions of individual organizers such as Ed Jones of the Glaziers and Mike Eisenscher of UE. "We do our homework," one executive told me. "Unions are one of the few things my competitors and I share information about."

There has been little optimism among union supporters in the valley for several years, at least until recently. But increasing job insecurity for industry employees at all levels, organizers argue, means that the time is ripe for renewed union efforts. The semiconductor and computer industries have continued their typically volatile up and down swings, accompanied by alternating layoffs and hirings. Even professional and skilled workers have come to realize the instability of their jobs, as they too face sudden layoffs without warning. Companies that supposedly had "no layoff" clauses, such as Hewlett-Packard and Advanced Micro Devices, reneged on their policies in the late 1980s and laid off hundreds of workers.

In order to circumvent the dissent and disruption that layoffs create, companies began to increasingly use temporary employment agencies in the mid-1980s. According to Janine, a personnel manager, "Temp agencies are the way of the future for large high-tech firms" because they allow expansion and contraction even more easily than subcontractors do. According to the director of one of the largest local temp agencies, Silicon Valley has a greater number of temporary agencies, relative to population size,


than any other area in the country. More than half of these agencies were established in the 1980s. Electronics worker Pat Sacco reports that at one large firm, management told laid-off regular workers that they might try looking for work at a local temporary agency that had openings. The firm then hired back the same workers, through the agency, at lower wages. Because of this, these workers also lost their rights to unemployment benefits.[15]

The early 1990s have seen increased organizing activity in the valley. Several community groups, including ethnic, religious, and environmental organizations, have expanded their efforts to focus on workers' concerns. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, for example, has initiated several educational campaigns about occupational hazards in the high-tech industry.[16] Labor unions have also increased their profile. In 1992, workers at Versatronex, a contract printed circuit board assembly plant in the city of Sunnyvale that employs predominantly Mexican women, struck for six weeks, the first time any Silicon Valley production workers have gone out on a concerted strike. The strikers went back to work when the National Labor Relations Board ruled in their favor that the company must reinstate Joselito Muñoz, a worker who had been fired for speaking out against poor working conditions and in favor of union organizing. The day they went back to work, the strikers filed with the NLRB for a union representation election. Versatronex management agreed to recognize the union, the United Electrical Workers, but as election arrangements were being made, the company announced that it was permanently closing down—and it did so soon after. Although the strikers' victory was bittersweet, it was not without impact on workers and employers elsewhere. Workers at other plants participated in sympathy hunger strikes and protests, rare events in the industry. In a letter of thanks to community supporters, the workers who participated in the strike wrote: "We are proud of our struggle, and we are proud to be part of the union movement."

Another historic first for Silicon Valley organizing occurred during the same time. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) mounted a "Justice for Janitors" organizing campaign that may well have important ramifications for organizing in Silicon Valley. The union set out to pressure industry giant Apple Computer to hire only janitorial services that employ unionized workers. Investing more than one million dollars in a high-profile media campaign aimed at portraying image-conscious Apple in a critical light, the union won its goal in 1992.

The strategy of targeting the publicity-sensitive "big company" in order to accomplish change at the smaller companies it dealt with was


effective, but expensive. SEIU's intent, according to one of the campaign's organizers, was to set a precedent and put other companies on notice. "We noticed, all right," a high-level executive at one of Apple's chief competitors told me. "We're all watching very carefully to see who they go after next." One of his colleagues added: "Most of us in this industry rely heavily on contracting work out. Unions could never touch the subcontractors—they're too small, and there are too many of them. They were very clever to go after it at our level." A local attorney and management consultant, who bills himself as "a professional union-buster," reports that his phones have been "ringing off the hook since this janitors thing."

Clearly, Silicon Valley employers have worked hard to keep unions out. But their efforts are not the only barriers to organizing. Also important are the dynamics of gender, race, and nationality, both within the unions and in the lives of immigrant women workers in general. The following sections examine some of these dynamics and also consider ways that unions might redirect their strategies to more fully incorporate and address the needs of a diverse work force.

Recent changes in the gender composition of the work force are important to labor organizations as well as to employers and to women. Most unions have traditionally had male leadership and a male membership drawn from male-dominated occupations. With women making up an ever-increasing proportion of the labor force, unions will have to redirect their membership focus.[17] At a time when total union membership in the United States is decreasing dramatically, female membership is actually increasing. This is partly explained by the unions' increased targeting of the state and service sectors, both of which have relatively high concentrations of women employees. But women are also being organized in the industrial sector, for example in textile plants and canneries.[18] Today, almost six million workers, 34 percent of all union members in the country, are women, double the percentage of 1960.[19] If unions are to survive, they must deal both with women workers' specific needs and with sexism in the union itself at all levels.

Historically, white male union members and leaders have often successfully campaigned to exclude immigrants, people of color, and women from the mainstream of labor through prejudice and discrimination.[20] Chris, a union organizer I interviewed, suggested that in recent years this exclusion has typically been more subdued, as unions have recognized its divisive and weakening effect on labor solidarity. Yet many unions still do


not address the special situations and needs of immigrants, diverse ethnic and racial groups, and women. And even though in recent years union organizers have become more interested in and committed to these populations, 80 percent of the women immigrant workers I interviewed do not perceive traditional organizing movements as useful options for improving their work and life conditions in terms of their own priorities.

Approximately 50 percent of the women interviewed are also ideologically opposed to labor unions, although this varies by nationality, class background, and political affiliation. And, typically, even those women immigrant workers who are interested in union membership find it difficult to actively participate. They are constrained by the time demands of household responsibilities and "moonlighting" at jobs in the casual service sector to make ends meet. They also face resistance from male family members who do not approve of their womenfolk's involvement in "unchaperoned" activities with male "strangers" beyond paid work hours.[21]

In the past two decades, some unions have begun to organize around concerns targeted by women workers. Encouraged by the development of organizations such as the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), which was founded by women trade unionists in 1974, unions such as SEIU, the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE), CWA, and others are active in the fight for pay equity, an end to sex and race discrimination, pregnancy benefits, and parental leave.[22] Only a few unions have given priority to these issues, however, and many are impeded by resentment from male union members who do not consider "women's issues" to be priorities, as illustrated by some of the testimony from my study. In Silicon Valley, I talked with union organizers who are clearly aware of and committed to these feminist workplace issues, but they agree that top union leadership still has not given full attention to such concerns. "The big unions are still completely male-dominated and male-defined at the top," a local organizer outside the high-tech industry told me. "That really hasn't changed, and it's killing the union movement."

Labor organizers and observers believe that part of the reason national union leadership has shown limited interest in organizing Silicon Valley is because Third World immigrant women are not a union priority. Linda, a Latina union organizer, reported:

Sure, the big guys say they're interested in high-tech, but they give us only two or three organizers and a shoestring budget, and there's a couple hundred thousand workers out there. If this was steel, or auto, or any of the other traditional men's jobs, they'd give us a lot more attention. It's easy to get a sense that the union leadership really couldn't care less about


a bunch of minorities and women. The local leadership really does, but they don't control the resources.

Another woman organizer was so fed up with the low priority the national union gave her campaign that she quit in frustration. And a labor advocate in the immigrant community says that unions "still don't want to touch immigrant workers with a ten-foot pole, even though we're a permanent sector of the labor force."

Unions have traditionally had problems, identifying with and appealing to the special needs of women, people of color, and immigrants. Luisa, a Chicana worker who supported an organizing drive at her plant, illustrates these problems:

[The union organizers] kept asking me, "Why don't the other Mexican women come to the meetings? They have just as much to gain." I kept telling them—they're afraid of deportation, they can't afford the dues, they've got to take care of their kids, and their husbands won't let them. And they don't understand English good. And all [the organizers] said was, "But it's in their own best interests." . . . Eventually, they got Spanish-speaking organizers, but it's like they didn't even consider the other barriers. They kept asking me, "Why don't they come?"

Many organizers, leaders, and rank-and-file members of traditional industrial trade unions realize that women need to be integrated into the ranks of the organized. The problem for workers of both sexes who favor extending the brotherhood to sisters is how to create a "siblinghood" that is not based on exclusively male needs and definitions. SEIU is perhaps the best example of a union that has paid attention to the specific problems of its many women and immigrant members. Organizers targeting the high-tech industry agree that their unions have much to learn from the SEIU model—and a long way to go to implement the necessary changes.

Another significant barrier to women joining unions has been the discomfort and, in some cases, hostility expressed by male workers toward women workers and their perceived "petticoat encroachment," as one male rank-and-filer termed it. When asked by a friend what he thought of the feminization of his union, Bob, a U.S.-born member of a different union, responded, "That's an interesting term, 'feminization'—what you're really talking about is 'sissification' . . . and I'm against it."

What will it mean for the organizing strength of both women and unions if "female" is equated with low status and "sissification"? Both labor and women's organizations—as well as individual male workers—will have to contend with this problem if the feminization of the work force


and labor unions continues. Although occupational sectors remain sex-segregated, unions are becoming more integrated, and male union members are being forced to face their own sexism within the ranks. Craig, a white male labor analyst I spoke with, went as far as blaming the current decline in the size, status, and power of unions on increased female membership, arguing that as women move in, men will move out. Historically this has certainly been the case with occupations such as secretarial work, but "blaming" women for their own devaluation is counterproductive. John, a Chicano union member, expressed the conflicts:

It's strange having women at the meetings. I mean, the guys don't know how to act with ladies around. I know we were the ones complaining about declining membership, but we never thought the new "brothers" would be female. They're the ones getting the new jobs in this area, though, so if it comes down to women or no new members at all—well, I'm not sure what most of the guys would choose.

Women report that although many men have supported their membership, many others have reacted with none-too-subtle sexist hostility. Judy, an Afro-Caribbean woman who belongs to a union active in the high-tech industry, explained:

The first time we [a group of women] showed up at the [union] meeting, we were a little bit nervous, so we drove over there together and all sat together in the back. Some of the guys got all upset and grumbled that the "cunt block" was taking over. Well, that broke down all the confidence we had built up in two of the girls just to come to the meeting, and they left right away. . . . Luckily, some of the guys have been real supportive of us—particularly the ones from our company—but a lot of them think we're "pinking up" their turf. What do they think we're going to do, put up lace curtains? This is a union, not a boys' club!

Not only do some of the men in Judy's union think that all the women want to do is put up lace curtains, but many also think that it is a woman's responsibility to do just that. When not actually relegated to coffee-making and interior decorating, women union members have found that they are expected to do secretarial work, make phone calls, and provide child care. Carla, one of the few Central American refugee women I met who is active in a union, told me that even though it was a man—a single father—who recommended that child care be provided during meetings, he assumed that women union members or the wives of other male members would organize, advertise, and provide the care. "How can I change diapers if I'm taking shorthand?!" protested Carla, who also takes minutes


at the meetings. "I get to do drudge work on the line—that's not why I joined a union!"

My research indicates that male and female workers do not commonly see themselves as having generic, genderless needs as workers. Both men and women articulate the view that the two sexes have different styles of discussing, deciding on, and implementing policies and actions and also often tend to focus on different issues. Most of the men I interviewed devalue both the concerns of women workers and the women's style of presenting and processing their concerns. The women, in contrast, tend to acknowledge the men's concerns—although not always their presentation style and processing—as valuable. The following comment was made by Leonard, a white male trade union member in his thirties:

[The women] just keep bringing up stuff that gets in the way of the union's real concerns. If it's going to turn into a ladies' bitch session or a coffeeklatsch, I'm not going to stick around.

And just what is the ladies' "stuff" that gets in the way of the union's "real concerns"?

You know, all these new women's lib issues: wanting to spend our valuable time inventing a comparable worth program, instead of fighting for higher pay. And last meeting we had this whole program on sexual harassment. Christ, I'd like to have more sex at work, not less!

Leonard does not consider issues that affect primarily women at work to be workers' issues. He belittles and dismisses them as inappropriate union concerns because they do not affect men in the same way. But comparable worth and sexual harassment are of course labor issues: They affect workers on the job. Comparable worth means higher pay for a major sector of the work force, yet Leonard seems to view it as a struggle that will take energy away from increasing wages as he defines them, that is, male wages. Compare his attitudes with those of Clemintine, a Filipina in the same union:

[The male shop steward] encouraged me to get more involved in union activities, and to get other women to join. He kept saying, "We really need more women—and the women could really benefit from the union." Well, I agree with him, but it's hard having to act like "just one of the guys." Of course, the issues they talk about are important to us—wages and close-downs and job security affect us, too. I even think it's fine that they spend a lot of time talking about, you know, "guy stuff," like sports, and fixing up their cars, and bragging about how much heavy equipment they can lift—and they organize social events around those things, and that's fine. But they get real annoyed when [the union leadership] brings up things that are important to the girls—like trying to get child care during meetings,


and counseling for domestic violence. They say those things are out of place at a union.

The problem Clemintine refers to is not simply that of men belittling women's social activities in comparison to their own. Gender-specific social concerns are frequently considered appropriate for union attention only if they are male, and inappropriate if they are female. Recreational activities that will improve men's quality of life, such as organizing male sports teams, are often deemed acceptable union business, whereas social change activities that will improve women's quality of life—such as providing child care and dealing with domestic violence—are seen as outside the bounds of union discussion. That child care and domestic violence are viewed by both men and women as female problems, while sports and cars are seen as men's interests, is of course one of the roots of the problem. Interestingly, these examples contradict male rank-and-filers' oft-voiced assumptions that women are more concerned with socializing and men more interested in "hard-core" work issues.

Conversations with both union and nonunion women workers indicate that for a woman to have the courage to enter an often hostile male union, the chances are that she is motivated by crucial work concerns. If she is looking for a social club or even a women's organization, she will likely turn to an organization less threatening than a male-dominated union to meet her needs. Certainly, men do not join a union merely because they want to play in its baseball league. But most unions are still places where men feel more comfortable than women, where males get more of their specific needs met than do women. Unions need to develop a better understanding of the gender biases of their own systems and processes, sensitizing workers to the reality that issues which primarily affect women workers are not "women's problems" and that male workers' definitions of issues are not necessarily the generic standard against which women workers should be measured. Unions must identify which work issues potentially unite and which divide male and female workers and learn how to deal with both. Otherwise, employers' tendency to devalue both work and women by creating more and more low-paid female jobs will be reproduced by unions and workers themselves.

For those immigrant women workers who are interested in and supportive of unions, gender ideologies and arrangements within the family can also be primary barriers to union involvement. In many families, males control


and restrict women's time and access, meaning that women are heavily discouraged from engaging in union activities. This helps to explain why male immigrants are more likely to be involved in unions than their female family members. Maria Elena, a twenty-year-old Filipina worker, described her situation:

I am in favor of unions. In Manila, my brother and my father worked for a clandestine union that the government was after. I used to work at National [Semiconductor], and the union was trying to organize there. But I could never go to the meetings because my father would not let me. It is true for my friends, too. Girls are not allowed to go to any meetings or places without a relative.

Workers I talked with from a wide spectrum of national backgrounds, including European American, reported that males frequently discourage or forbid female family members from participating in unions. Some of the men believe that unions are a male preserve and prerogative, and not a place for women; some are simply anti-union and expect their womenfolk to act accordingly. Others are fearful of company or state retribution and want to protect their family. Still other men, as well as a few women, think that it is inappropriate for females to "mix" with males in an unchaperoned environment, particularly with men of different ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds. ("Mixing" on the job site was considered chaperoned or simply unavoidable; then, too, the workplace is highly sex-segregated.)

Many women, and some men, disagree with these gender-based assumptions, and some immigrant women workers do indeed become involved in unions. More than 95 percent of those I interviewed, however, do not. Even those women who wished to get involved have little leverage in disobeying male authority when their life and survival are intricately connected to family and household. The women who do get involved in unions tend either to have familial support for doing so or to live in households without men. In my main informant group, however, fewer than 10 percent of the women workers lived in households with no adult male present. Approximately 70 percent of the women interviewed believed that their menfolk would stand in their way if they wanted to become involved in unions.

Another central ideological barrier to immigrant women's involvement in organizing involves the women's own consciousness about their jobs. Many immigrant women in Silicon Valley shops view their current occupations as both temporary and secondary.[23] Although they are critical


of the low wages, the lack of job security, and the high-risk occupational hazards, they are typically hesitant to organize because they believe that they will stay at these jobs only for a short time, while they are "helping" their menfolk become established in the United States. They also consider their primary identity to be as a family caregiver, and they view their wages as secondary to male family members' wages. In reality, however, in 1993, the large majority of women in my study were still employed in the same industry—if not by the same employer—as they were when I started interviewing them in the early 1980s. In addition, 80 percent of the women have consistently been the primary source of steady income in their households throughout the course of my study, even when adult males are present. Nonetheless, they continue to perceive themselves as temporary workers and secondary earners, identities that mitigate against investing energy in workplace organizing.

In addition to gender ideology, hierarchical gender structures—in particular, the unequal sexual division of labor within the home—often constrain women's union involvement. Libby, a white thirty-six-year-old divorced mother of two, who works in high-tech processing, commented:

Union meetings? Who has the time? The commute [to work] is over an hour each way—I get home, pick up my kids, and then try to spend some time with them before they go to bed, when I do the laundry. And I'm trying to find time to go back to school. Even if I had the time, I can't afford to pay a sitter while I'm off saving the world.

Women who live in households with other adults, as do most of the women in my formal sample, have the same constraint. Said Marta, a Mexicana assembly worker who is married and lives with her in-laws:

I would really like to get involved with the union, but there is no time to go to meetings or help recruit after work. I have too much to do when I come home, with the kids, the apartment, and so forth. I need to relieve my mother-in-law, who has taken care of everything all day while I'm at work—I would feel bad asking her to stay longer. My husband, of course, doesn't have this problem , so he gets involved for the both of us and brings me home reports of the meetings and things. [emphasis added]

That her husband "doesn't have this problem" of working a double shift, first on the job and then in the household, is not something she questions; she later agreed that it is perhaps unfair, but she is resigned that "God did not make men and women equal." Her sentiments are not unique: Family responsibilities are cited as barriers to labor organizing by most of the women who are at all interested in unions.


Historically, many union leaders have viewed this situation as a failure of women themselves to adjust and give priority to traditional union platforms and practices. Donald, an African American union organizer who works outside the high-tech industry, told me that "any worker who truly recognizes the importance of having a say over his [sic ] job can make time to get involved. It's like anything else; you make time for your top priorities." He added that "for whatever the reasons," women workers are not as committed to gaining control over their jobs as are males:

Most of the gals would rather spend more time at home, doing domestic things, than get involved with the union. There's not much we can do about that. . . . Everyone likes to spend more time with their kids, of course, but all we need is one night a week. The fellas are willing to give that, but not the ladies. [emphasis added]

It did not seem relevant to Donald that women workers usually have no choice about working this double shift. Male workers may be more "willing" to devote time to unions because, in most cases, they in fact have more time—a situation that should not be news to union activists who are familiar with women's lives.

Several of the women I interviewed who were familiar with union activities expressed dissatisfaction with what unions have to offer people who must handle the double shift of work and household demands. Charo, a Mexicana semiconductor processor, noted:

Why should we pay money to the unions? We already have the supervisors telling us what to do—we don't need someone else to do it, too. My major problem is that I can't find good child care, and I don't have any time to study English. Will the union keep my kids off of the streets? Will they keep [my husband] from drinking? No.

Her friend Mila, who was sitting in on this interview, added: "What you need is a wife, not a union!"

Another factor that greatly influences the relationship of immigrant workers to the U.S. labor movement is their earlier experience with politics and organizing in their country of origin. This section provides some limited anecdotal information that may help to explain why immigrants of different nationalities tend to view unions differently. Not all the nationalities represented in my study are discussed here; the findings are preliminary, but they convey a sense of the magnitude of multicultural understanding that must be developed by anyone wishing to effectively organize a diverse immigrant labor force.


According to Thu, a Vietnamese community leader and union advocate, many Vietnamese immigrants to the United States equate unions with communism. If they are anti-communist, as are the vast majority who have fled to America, they tend to be anti-union. For example, 90 percent of Vietnamese refugees with U.S. citizenship are registered in and vote regularly for the Republican party,[24] which traditionally supports business interests when they conflict with organized labor. Vietnamese immigrants, across classes, strongly favor Republican candidates and policies because they perceive Republicans as more staunch opponents of communism and greater supporters of military defense than Democrats. Only one of the Vietnamese workers I interviewed claimed to have had any involvement with labor unions in Vietnam. Most would not discuss their families' direct involvement in political activities, except to specify that they were vehemently anti-Vietcong. None of the Vietnamese immigrant workers or their family members claim membership in any U.S. labor union, and most speak of unions in either a derogatory or a wary tone.

In contrast, local Filipino immigrant communities have a tradition of labor militancy that is tied to labor and resistance movements in the Philippines. Under former president Ferdinand Marcos, outlawed labor unions were clandestine and were part of the insurgency against the regime. The majority of working-class Filipino immigrants in Silicon Valley are anti-Marcos, according to community members interviewed; many of them came to the United States to escape political persecution by the Marcos regime. Many Filipino immigrants have remained in close contact with political groups in their homeland and have been influenced by the rising tide of labor militancy there. Compared to Vietnamese immigrants, fewer Filipinos who immigrated during the Marcos days have sought American citizenship, and thus voting rights, because they expected that Marcos would soon be overthrown and that they would return home. Since Marcos has fallen, however, relatively few have returned to the Philippines.

Among the Filipino immigrants I interviewed, most politically support U.S. labor unions in theory, but their own organizing energy in recent years has been directed toward conditions in the Philippines. During the time of my earlier interviews, before Corazon Aquino took office, anti-Marcos Filipinos in the United States, like those in the Philippines, had to remain clandestine and low-profile in all of their political activities, for fear of retaliation by pro-Marcos forces. Informants claimed that wealthy Marcos supporters in the San Francisco Bay Area maintained a "hit squad" that targeted local anti-Marcos activists. Sympathizers on both sides of the struggle expressed fear of reprisals.[25] Although Marcos supporters in the


United States feared retaliation from the numerically stronger anti-Marcos forces, the pro-Marcos sector wielded much greater financial and political power. Anti-Marcos activists claim that before Aquino's victory they were harassed by both the FBI and its Filipino equivalent and that their activities in the United States led to severe persecution of family members in the Philippines. Because of these conditions, many Filipino workers I talked with before the ouster of Marcos were understandably reticent to discuss their political involvement. Those who did were overwhelmingly anti-Marcos. In an interview I conducted in 1983, Tito, a Filipino janitor and the husband of a high-tech production worker, commented:

Of course we are all anti-Marcos; that is why we came here. If we liked what he was doing, if we were not afraid for our lives, would we have left the homes we love? . . . The only ones here who are for the regime are Imelda's rich cronies—they come here to invest their money safely—but they still fly back to see her all the time.

His teenage daughter told me that it was easy to distinguish which of her compatriots were pro-Marcos: "They're the ones you see shopping; we're the ones you see working."

In the post-Marcos period, more wealthy, pro-Marcos Filipinos have immigrated to the Bay Area. A pro-Marcos position is generally equated with a pro-Republican stance, whereas those who are anti-Marcos range from being pro-Democrat to having left-wing sympathies. Working-class Filipino immigrants tend to be anti-Marcos and pro-labor. Only two of the Filipina workers I interviewed claimed to have been active in labor unions in the Philippines, but 40 percent reported that male family members had been actively involved. In several of the Filipino households I visited, family members engaged in impassioned discussions about labor and liberation movements in the Philippines when I asked them about their homeland. Similarly, although only two Filipina workers (one of whom was also a trade unionist in the Philippines) reported that they had been involved in U.S. unions, approximately 30 percent of their adult male family members reported that they were unionists.

Institutional barriers to women's participation are very real, yet women have nevertheless been active in the local labor movement. And Filipinos of both sexes have been at the forefront of collective organizing efforts that have taken place in Silicon Valley. In 1985, a group of twelve workers from chip-maker giant National Semiconductor Corporation came before Santa Clara County's Human Rights Commission to publicly testify about their employer's racially discriminatory labor practices. Most


of these workers were Filipino. And during the drive to organize National Semiconductor, the single largest group of workers to join the union were Filipinas. Organizers note that the involvement of these women coincided with one of the major nationalist upsurges against Marcos in the Philippines. Local organizers report that National Semiconductor is aware of the connection between politics in the Philippines and Silicon Valley organizing; according to rumor, the company has even sent management representatives to the Philippines to investigate and lobby against labor unions.[26]

Most of the immigrants I talked with from the Philippines, El Salvador, Indochina, and other regions torn by civil war essentially came to the United States as political refugees, whether or not the U.S. government granted them official refugee status. The factors that push other groups to immigrate to America are less frequently tied to individuals' particular political affiliations, although in the broader sense all immigration occurs in a political context. Within nonrefugee communities, there tends to be a greater diversity of political histories and labor sympathies, much of which seems to be tied to previous experiences with organizing and to class background. This was the case with Mexican workers I interviewed. Mexican informants and their family members tend to have been either unemployed or underemployed in rural or urban labor before coming to the United States. Although few workers—less than 10 percent of the women and just over 10 percent of their male family members—reported involvement in unions or other labor groups in Mexico, 10 percent of the women and 30 percent of the men reported attending at least one union meeting in the United States. Two of the Mexican women had joined a union in the United States, and more than 20 percent had male family members who belong to a union.

Recent labor insurgencies in South Korea, such as the widespread strikes at Hyundai and other plants, might suggest that Korean immigrants, like their Filipino co-workers, would also be inclined to labor militancy. This was not the case for the Korean workers I talked with. Half of these workers were nonunionized professional or semiprofessional workers before immigration. Only one claimed that she or any family member had ever been involved in union activities in Korea. None of the Korean women is involved in a union in the United States, although a few female family members are. Approximately 8 percent of the male family members interviewed have been involved in unions since their arrival.

Most of the immigrant women workers I interviewed were aware of


union organizing drives in the valley during the course of their employment, yet fewer than 10 percent knew which unions were involved, what union membership entails, or the issues on which unions were focusing. Fewer still expressed any interest in participating in union activities. One reason that the women were relatively uninformed about union specifics is the language barrier; another is fear of persecution by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and other government agencies.

My findings indicate that the large majority of immigrant women in Silicon Valley high-tech manufacturing jobs are alienated from the trade union movement. That does not mean, however, that they do not understand the value of collective organizing. Irma, a Filipina immigrant, an undocumented high-tech production worker and a young mother, told me this story. After a hard day on the job, she cooks dinner and puts the kids to bed. Late at night, when she is clone helping her husband get off to his night job and her sister go through the job ads, she sometimes goes over to her neighbor's apartment "to watch TV." Her neighbor is a Mexican woman who works at the same plant. They sit around drinking coffee while their kids are asleep, and though they are exhausted, they talk about their dreams and goals and how to achieve them:

When I think about it, we don't really dream of fortunes or kingdoms or things like that very often. We mainly dream about our real lives. . .. And so much of what we want for ourselves and our families is conditioned by our jobs, even though we don't think of our jobs as something that we care about, because they're pretty depressing. . . .

We dream that when we work hard, we'll be able to clothe our children decently, and still have a little time and money left for ourselves. And we dream that when we do as good a job as other people, we get treated the same, and that nobody puts us down because we're not like them. We dream that our jobs are safe, and secure, and when we're really on a roll—we even imagine that they're interesting and enjoyable! . . .

Then we ask ourselves, "How could we make these things come true?" And so far we've come up with only two possible answers: win the lottery, or organize. What can I say, except I have never been lucky with numbers. So tell them this in your book: Tell them it may take time that people don't think they have, but they have to organize! It doesn't have to be through a union, because God knows unions have problems. So you can do it any-where—but organize! Because the only way to get a little measure of power over your own life is to do it collectively, with the support of other people who share your needs.

For immigrant women workers, a successful organizing movement will be one that addresses the intersections of class, gender, race, and nationality


in their lives, a movement recognizing that for women such as Irma a work life means not only wage work but household and community labor, and often includes the struggles associated with being undocumented. What is needed is an interethnic labor and community movement that challenges gender and racial oppression as well as dangerous, unstable working conditions in the high-tech industry. And because of the global scope and mobility of the industry, such a movement must also have an international component.

These are, of course, very tall orders. But Third World women workers such as the ones interviewed for this study constitute a major and growing force in the modern international division of labor. A labor movement that wishes to remain viable must therefore make the problems presented in these pages a primary focus. To paraphrase Margarita, the Mexicana assembler quoted in the opening of this article, today's new workers will take an interest in labor movements—or any social movement—only when those movements demonstrate a real interest in them.


Further Reading

Chapkis, Wendy, and Cynthia Enloe. Of Common Cloth: Women in the Global Textile Industry . 1983.

Colclough, Glenna, and Charles M. Tolbert. Work in the Fast Lane: Flexibility, Divisions of Labor, and Inequality in High-Tech Industries . 1992.

Fernandez-Kelly, Maria Patricia. For We Are Sold, I and My People: Women and Industry in Mexico's Frontier . 1983.

Friaz, Guadalupe Mendez. "Employment Security in a Nonunion Workplace: A Study of Blue Collar Workers in a High-Tech Firm." Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1989.

Green, Susan S. Silicon Valley's Women Workers: A Theoretical Analysis of Sex-Segregation in the Electronics Labor Market . 1980.

Gregory, Kathleen. "Signing-Up: The Culture and Careers of Silicon Valley Computer People." Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 1984.

Hayes, Dennis. Behind the Silicon Curtain: The Seductions of Work in a Lonely Era . 1989.

Hossfeld, Karen J. "Hiring Immigrant Women: Silicon Valley's Simple Formula." In Women of Color in U.S. Society , edited by Bonnie Thornton Dill and Maxine Baca Zinn, pp. 65-93. 1994.

———. "Small Foreign, and Female ": Profiles of Gender, Race, and Nationality in Silicon Valley . Forthcoming.

———. "'Their Logic Against Them': Contradictions in Sex, Race, and Class in Silicon Valley." In Women Workers and Global Restructuring , edited by Kathryn Ward, pp. 149-178. 1990.

Katz, Naomi, and David S. Kemnitzer. "Women and Work in Silicon Valley: Options and Futures." In My Troubles Are Going to Have Trouble with Me: Everyday Trials and Triumphs of Women Workers , edited by Karen Bodkin Sacks and Dorothy Remy, pp. 209-218. 1984.

Keller, John Frederick. "The Production Workers in Electronics: Industrialization and Labor Development in California's Santa Clara Valley." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1981.

Muller, Thomas, and Thomas J. Espenshade. The Fourth Wave: California's Newest Immigrants . 1985.

Olson, Lynne. "The Silkwoods of Silicon Valley." Working Woman 8 (July 1984).

Saxenian, AnnaLee. "Contrasting Patterns of Business Organization in Silicon Valley." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10 (1992): 377-391.

———. "In Search of Power: The Organization of Business Interests in Silicon Valley and Route 128." Economy and Society 18 (1989): 25-70.

———. "Urban Contradictions of Silicon Valley: Regional Growth and Restructuring of the Semiconductor Industry." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 7 (June 1983): 237-261.

Siegel, Lenny, and John Markoff. The High Cost of High-Tech: The Dark Side of the Chip . 1985.

Storper, Michael, and Richard Walker. The Capitalist Imperative: Territory, Technology, and Industrial Growth . 1989.


U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Women and Minorities in High Technology . 1982.

Walker, Richard. "The Playground of U.S. Capitalism: The Political Economy of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s." In Fire in the Hearth: The Radical Politics of Place in America , edited by Mike Davis et al., pp. 3-82. 1990.

Winner, Langdon. "Silicon Valley Mystery House." In Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space , edited by Michael Sorkin, pp. 31-60. 1993.


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