Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New Voices on Labour Precarity and Resistance!

Choudry, Aziz and Thomas Collombat (eds.) (2012) Special issue on 'New Voices on Labour Precarity and Resistance / Nouvelles voix sur la précarité du travail et sur la résistance ouvrière', Labour, Capital and Society, Vol.45/1. 

This Special Issue of Labour, Capital and Society on New Voices on Labour Precarity and Resistance / Nouvelles voix sur la précarité du travail et sur la résistance ouvrière, with the help of contributing editors Aziz Choudry and Thomas Collombat, might seem to mark a departure from our regular focus on labour issues in Africa, Asia and Latin America given the presentation of cases in Canada, the United States and Europe. Yet the focus on greater labour precarity, new forms of organizing and resistance in several countries of the North further contributes to our understanding of the effects of neoliberal globalization on workers and communities. The articles focus on the increased precarity of employment that disproportionally affects marginalised, migrant and immigrant workers. As the practice of guest workers is receiving growing acceptance in countries of the North, many of these workers are from low-wage countries of the South and examining this issue allows us to further strengthen the North/South nexus. This issue also offers another view of current working conditions which is requiring workers to be mobile, in addition to being flexible, whether within their own country or across borders. This is further explored in an article that brings together workers in Toronto and San Salvador, each group facing different versions of neoliberal austerity. Finally, the articles also examine the nature of worker precarity brought about by the increased role of temporary employment agencies and home-based work in the care sector, especially among child care workers. Yet in spite of what might be considered a grim picture of new working conditions and consistent threats against established labour organizations, the authors strike a hopeful note as they explore new forms of organizing and especially the growth of worker resistance that is emerging from these new forms of work.