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Who Cleans the Park?Public Work and Urban Governance in New York City$
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John Krinsky and Maud Simonet

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226435442

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226435619.001.0001

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The Workers

The Workers

(p.26) Two The Workers
Who Cleans the Park?

John Krinsky

Maud Simonet

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 takes a close-to-the ground look at the different kinds of workers who clean parks. It analyzes the shifts in the organization of work and categorization of workers with reference to two main processes: broadbanding and segmentation. Broadbanding refers to the consolidation of many categories of work into fewer. Segmentation refers to the expansion of the number of categories of workers and especially to the creation of distinction among them in terms of pay, workplace rights, and supervisory discretion, and the erection of barriers mobility among them. The chapter shows that these apparently contradictory dynamics actually work together in creating a segmented and “fissured” workplace in which systems of contracting and restructuring enable the degradation of previously decent jobs into more insecure and contingent ones not only outside the public sector--as with the emergence of the conservancies’ non-union workforces--but also outside of formal labor markets with the growing use of volunteers, workfare beneficiaries and community sentencees since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

Keywords:   labor, contracts, segmentation, broadbanding, labor markets, degraded work, public unions

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