Gender, class and global flows

Date and Time: 
7 November, 2010 - 11:30 - 12:00

Thinking from a global north perspective one might get the impression that we live in some kind of Post-Fordist service economy. In a global perspective, this is obviously not the case. Someone still need to make our Ipads or t-shirts and according to the International Labor Organization, ILO the share of manufacturing jobs worldwide is actually increasing and has been since the 1970s. Along with this there is another global trend, manufacturing jobs are more and more often jobs in subcontracted global production chains, in sweatshops and home based industrial work. The labor force in these ways of production makes for flexible labor that to a very large extent is unorganized and isolated from each other. They are often not able to form neither a collective identity nor a bargaining platform as workers. Laborers in home based industrial work are often at the margins of the labor market, often female, people with disabilities, belonging to ethnic minorities, and/or are very old or very young, which does not really put them in a great bargaining position to start with. To be able to organize there is a great need for information transfers. Especially as at the same time, the companies employing the workers excel in and are heavily dependent on effective global flows of information. So, information is as important as ever in organizing labor in manufacturing today. Cheap and easy ways to transfer information is crucial not to fuel new social movements but to empower the old.

Room 1
Using Free Software to Fuel the Revolution