Silencing Our Voices? the Impact of the Globalisation of Labour Markets on Terms and Conditions and the Capacity of Workers to Resist Negative Transformation
The phenomenon of globalisation is only just coming to be understood by broader publics as a violent assault on standards, incomes and rights. In the context of globalised labour markets, workers from different parts of the world are pitted against one and other and forced to engage in a ‘race to the bottom’. This process plays out as multinationals insist that employees accept reductions in pay/working conditions, or face their job relocation. It also plays out in labour-markets where plant/workers are mobile e.g. shipping, or where the workplace is a worker's home/car, or a service user's premises, as is the case with digital/platform working. These scenarios have in common the ways in which workers are disempowered by fear. In such situations they frequently engage in competition for the basic right to work rather than finding forms of collective resistance. This session will provide an insight into the ways in which workers in the formal/informal sectors are caught up in the global competition for employment and the sacrifices in wages/conditions/rights, that they are making to secure work. The key questions are:
1) How are standards in terms and conditions being undermined by globalisation?
2) How are workers responding to this changing context?
In this respect we welcome accounts of acquiescence alongside accounts of resistance and seek to shed light on both established, and new, forms of work where global labour markets operate.