Spaces of Work is an accessible examination of the role of labour in the modern world. The authors critically assess the present condition and future prospects for workers through the geographies of place, space and scale, and in conjunction with other more commonly studied components of the globalisation such as production, trade and finance. Each chapter presents examples of labour practice from around the world, and across multiple sectors of work, not just Western manufacturing. In addition, the book features: · further reading section with key questions · glossary of key terms · short summaries of the main theoretical approaches · guide to further learning resouces Spaces of Work is a key book for all social scientists interested in the contemporary state of labour, and the scope for progressive change within the capitalist system. Students of human geography, sociology, international political economy, economics and cultural studies will all find this an invaluable text.
Chapter five: Re/Placing Labour
- An emerging global regime of ‘hegemonic despotism’? 129
- Mechanisms of labour control 134
- Case studies of geographic complexity 140
- Summary 155
A report published by the Oxfam-led Clean Clothes Campaign (Connor, 2002) drew the following conclusions from an investigation into the living and working conditions of Nike and Adidas workers in West Java, Indonesia. First, with wages as low as US$2 per day (including working substantial overtime), many workers were living in extreme poverty. Those with children had either to send them to distant villages to be raised by relatives or enter into debt in order to meet their basic needs. Second, workers’ freedom of association was strictly curtailed. Many clearly feared that active union involvement would lead to them being dismissed, imprisoned or physically assaulted. ...