008. Volume 5 No 1

cover passing

Passing the buck: corporate restructuring and the casualisation of employment

Casual labour is often thought of as a hangover from the bad old days, when agricultural workers were hired by the day, homeworkers slaved hidden away in back rooms and street vendors eked out a living in urban slums. Modernisation, new technology, industrialisation and economic development, it might be thought, are doing away with such primitive conditions. Unfortunately, as this volume shows, this is far from being the case. In fact the logic of financialisation and the restructuring of global value chains is leading in precisely the opposite direction, with new forms of casualisation taking place right within the heart of the ‘formal’ sector, and employees of global corporations experiencing growing precariousness in both developed and developing countries, driven by the pressures of competition in a global economy, This important collection brings together new theoretical insights into the dynamics of the new casualisation of employment, as well as presenting empirical evidence of its spread from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.


Passing the buck: corporate restructuring and the casualisation of employment
Ursula Huws
Transnational corporations as financial groups
Claude Serfati    
‘Everywhere in chains’: Work, commodity chain analysis, and the subversion
of accountability
James Lawson             
Informalisation and the social relations of production: Insights from urban Karnataka, 1990-2005
Thomas Barnes   
Skirting Regulation? Trade Liberalisation, Retailers and the Informalisation
of South Africa’s Clothing industry
Marlea Clarke and Shane Godfrey     
Labour makeup: a case study of 800,000 cosmetics resellers in Brazil
Ludmila Costhek Abilio  
Temporary agency work in the Finnish health care sector: Greater flexibility  and freedom in the workplace?
Hannele Palukka and Tiina Tiilikka
Work discipline and corporate training in modernising large companies in Argentina
Claudia Figari    
Freeze-dried flexibility: a new morphology of labour, casualisation and value               Ricardo Antunes
The restructuring of labour in Brazil in the 2000s: flexible work and the precarisation of working life               
Giovanni Alves
Review: recent publications on precarious work
Keith Randle