007. Volume 4 No 2

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Getting the message: communications workers and global value chains

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 organizations 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.

Getting the message: communications workers and global value chains
Catherine McKercher and Vincent Mosco
‘Let them move the mail with transistors instead of brains’: labour convergence in posts and telecommunications, 1972-3
Caroline Nappo and Dan Schiller        
Logistics and logistics workers: the poor relations 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 of 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