Silencing Our Voices? the Impact of the Globalisation of Labour Markets on Terms and Conditions and the Capacity of Workers to Resist Negative Transformation

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30-17:20
RC30 Sociology of Work (host committee)

Language: English

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.

Session Organizers:
Helen SAMPSON, Cardiff University, School of Social Sciences, United Kingdom and Jose Ricardo RAMALHO, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oral Presentations
The Global Vehicle Assembly Industry and Its Periphery: A Comparative Study on the Work Reconfiguration in Brazil
Mario Henrique GUEDES LADOSKY, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande – UFCG, Brazil; Marcos Lázaro PRADO, Faculdade Barretos, Brazil; Fernando RAMALHO MARTINS, Unesp, Brazil
Corporate Strategy and Territory: Modalities of Territorial Embeddedness in the Volkswagen's Gpn in Brazil
Rodrigo SANTOS, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil; Cristiano MONTEIRO, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil; Raphael LIMA, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil; João DULCI, State University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Going Beyond Competition between Migrant and Native Workers in the Cleaning Services Industry
Angela M. TOFFANIN, University of Padova, Italy; Francesca Alice VIANELLO, University of Padua, Italy
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