Working for the Global Market: Lived Realities of Informal Workers in a Global Supply Chain

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Farah NAZ, university of sargodha,Pakistan, Pakistan
As developing countries are increasingly integrated into global economic system, devastating effect of global economic and financial crisis on incomes, government finances and labour market is translated into diverse social outcome in these countries. Various austerity measures that were adopted under auspice of neoliberal economic policies in most of developing countries has further exasperated the situation and tighten the belt of workers in informal sector. However severity and considerable diversity of effects of crisis on everyday life of millions of these informal working poor in developing countries is not fully acknowledged in official as well as academic discourse. Articulating a qualitative case study of the football industry of Pakistan as an example of general mechanism of social relations of production and reproduction in a global system of production organization, this research highlights that how and under what conditions informal workers, especially home-based workers are integrated into global supply chains at multiple intersection of gender, class, ethnicity and geopolitical location. Various dimensions of informal work at various nodes of global supply chain are explored through in-depth interviews to gain insight about the nature of work and employment conditions. This paper argues that there is a clear gap between the theoretical stance on informal work and the inner world view of the actors involved. This study questions the existing approaches towards home-based work and presents an alternative discourse that stems from voicing the concerns and experiences of homeworkers, which are too often voiceless groups.