Communications workers and global value chains

Work, Organisation, Labour and Globalisation
Volume 4 No 2. 2010

Edited by Catherine McKercher, Vincent Mosco & Ursula Huws

Can knowledge workers of the world unite? This question becomes ever more urgent as telecommunications technology shrinks the world and as more and more work is based on creating, processing and transporting information.
Communications, information and cultural workers hold together the new global value chains that characterise more and more industries. But, with employers responding to global crisis by exerting ever-greater pressure on wages and working conditions, will these workers be able to overcome national and language differences and the divisions between occupational groups to unite against them?
This important collection brings together articles from around the world to assess the state of play. From striking IT workers in China to screenwriters in Hollywood, from postal workers to cartoonists, from librarians to logistics workers, what these workers have in common is that their work is not only embedded in global value chains but also necessary for modern communication to function. This includes communication among workers and the organisations that represent them. The message: knowledge workers can learn a lot from each other about how to understand - and resist - the global forces that are shaping their lives.
Contents: 'Let them move the mail with transistors instead of brains': labour convergence in posts and telecommunications, 1972-3, Caroline Nappo and Dan Schiller; Logistics workers and global logisitics: the heavy lifters of globalisation, Roger Sealey; Prospects for trade unions and labour organisations in India's IT and ITES industries, Andrew Stevens and Vincent Mosco; Will Chinese ICT workers unite?: new signs of change in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, Yu Hong; Across the great wall we can reach every corner in the world: network labour in China, Jack Linchuan Qiu; Librarians of the world unite?: Possibilities and realties from Florida USA, James F. Tracy and Maris L. Hayashi; Online Labour Markets: An inquiry into oDesk providers, Brett Caraway; Blogging the Writers Strike: Identity, interaction and engagement for collective action, Nina O'Brien; Social movement unionism or professionalism?: The union movement of Taiwanese documentary makers, Chang-de Liu; The global cartooning labour force: its problems and coping mechanisms, John A. Lent.

ISBN 978 0 85036 676 1

2010, paperback, 148 pages approx.