Category Labour

Five years after deadly factory fire, Bangladesh’s garment workers are still vulnerable

by Geert De Neve and Rebecca Prentice (Previously posted on The Conversation UK.) Five years ago last month, in November 2012, a fire in the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh killed at least 112 workers. Probably caused by a short circuit on the ground floor of the building, the fire rapidly spread up the nine […]

Deliveroo Riders Aren’t Workers, Says London Tribunal

by Rebecca Prentice In a surprise setback for trade unions attempting to organise the ‘gig’ economy, a London tribunal has ruled that Deliveroo riders are self-employed contractors, not ‘workers.’ This means that the riders do not have basic rights to minimum wage, holiday pay, and health and safety protections. They also have no right to […]

Agency, Upkeep, and Neglect in North Carolina Farm Labor Camps

by Bennett Heine In a recent article in Human Organization, co-authors Thomas Arcury, Sarah Quandt, and I draw from interviews with migrant farmworkers to conclude that agency matters. It matters for the day-to-day material well-being and dignity of farmworkers and their families; for researchers looking to situate the lives and struggles of migrant farmworkers within […]

When buildings burn, from London to Dhaka

by Rebecca Prentice There is for me a sad familiarity in the story of the Grenfell Tower fire. I have spent recent years researching garment factory fires and collapses in Bangladesh. Large-scale fires, no matter where they are, have a recursive quality to them. There is always the story of the spark that begins it, […]

The Gig Economy Strikes Back: Deliveroo in Brighton

by Rebecca Prentice May 1, 2017: On a rainy evening in Brighton, more than two hundred people took to the streets to protest economic precariousness. The ‘Precarious May Day’ march was led on bicycles by Deliveroo couriers, who deliver food to online takeaway customers. Accessing delivery jobs through an app on their phones, Deliveroo riders […]

The Rail Strikes: The Unheard Voices of Train Drivers

  by Kate Longland **A shorter version was published 24 January 2017 at http://www.ecnmy.org/engage/asked-southern-rail-drivers-theyre-strike/** The Southern rail strikes have been quite a hot topic in the news due to the impact that delayed and cancelled Southern trains are having on those who travel by train, particularly commuters. The strikes were called by ASLEF, the train […]

From the Field: American Textile Mill

by Caitrin Lynch **Originally published on The Standard-Times and on SouthCoastToday.com.** In response to calls for increased empathy after the divisive national election, many Americans will be making New Year’s resolutions in 2017 to experience life from the ‘other’ side. For all of 2016, I shelved my college professor routine and went to work in a textile mill. […]