|Photo by Jason|
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
China is frequently considered to be an example of successful developmental catch-up. And yet, the country’s impressive growth rates are to a large extent based on the super-exploitation of its workforce expressed in long working hours, low wages, and a general lack of basic welfare benefits such as medical insurance and work-injury insurance (Chan and Selden, 2014, p. 606). In our recently published article ‘Exploitation and resistance: a comparative analysis of the Chinese cheap labour electronics and high-value added IT sectors’, published in the journal Globalizations and freely accessible online, Chun-Yi Lee and I compare the electronics sector in the area of Shenzhen, based on cheap labour assembling goods for export, with the IT sector in the area of Shanghai, relying on a more skilled workforce manufacturing high-value added goods. It is asked in what way these rather different locations within the global political economy condition the form and contents of resistance in these two sectors.
Saturday, 9 July 2016
Monday, 4 July 2016
Neoliberalism has faced intense scrutiny over the years from Trade Unionists and Marxists alike for its exploitation of workers and insistence of an economic ‘trickle down’ effect that has yet to materialise. When you look closer, however, another troubling aspect of this industry emerges. Again and again, it seems to be women who are left behind by this system. In many countries in the global South, women are drawn into employment in the lowest paid and most undervalued work in the global economy at the end of Global Commodity Chains in the manufacturing, fresh produce and garment industries. In this guest post, Zoe Kemp analyses the plight of female workers in the Bangladeshi textile sector.
Monday, 27 June 2016
All European citizens have just been stripped of their European citizenship rights in Northern Ireland and Britain. Hence, no right to vote in local elections, no European social rights (e.g. no European Health Insurance Card), and no right to be treated equally anymore. What a ‘success’ for the ‘internationalist’ pro-Brexit left of Britain and Ireland! As a result, European migration to the UK will be reduced significantly. But note, I mean student migration not labour migration. In this guest post, Roland Erne assesses some of the implications of Brexit for EU nationals working in the UK.
Friday, 24 June 2016
|Photo by Rareclass|
My brother in law cannot get a job in the warehouses, because these agencies favour Polish immigrants.
All our companies are owned by foreigners, German electricity company, French in the water industry. I’d nationalise the whole lot’ (Local Resident in Beeston, Nottingham/UK; 24 June 2016).
As the Brexit vote sinks in, the first nationalist and xenophobic statements can be heard on the streets. In this blog post, I am analysing the wider causes underlying the Brexit vote and reflect on the struggles ahead. I will argue that there have been two campaigns against increasing austerity and the destruction brought about by global capitalist restructuring, the progressive left campaign around the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in the summer of 2015 and the predominantly right-wing Brexit campaign. Last night, the latter won a significant victory, when 51.9 per cent of the people voting endorsed to leave the EU against 48.1 per cent, who had voted to remain in the EU.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
On Thursday, 23 June, a referendum will be held to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. When Jacques Delors, then EU Commission President, announced his vision of a social dimension for European integration in the late 1980s, in the UK he won large parts of the British trade unions over into a pro-EU position. Against the background of neo-liberal restructuring by consecutive Conservative governments, social regulation at the European level offered advances, which would have been impossible in a purely domestic context. Is this situation still the case today?
|Photo by Descrier|
In this post, I will first assess the current state of affairs for social policies in the EU. Then I will focus on the dangers of nationalism and xenophobic reactions to migration, implied in a no-vote, before concluding in the third section that the focus of the debate should be redirected on what kind of EU we want, rather than the issue of further or less integration.