The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

The Hidden Cost of Everyday Low Prices

As consumers, we reap the benefits of globalisation. We enjoy ever-expanding product lines at ever-shrinking prices. Preoccupied with this penchant for low prices, we often accept the claim that globalisation delivers growth and prosperity to countries around the world without question. However, this blithe acceptance of global capitalism obscures some of the shocking realities faced by workers worldwide, which have arisen as a result of the processes of global restructuring that have been taking place since the 1970s. These developments, rooted in neoliberal principles which aim to achieve the conditions for the mobility and free operation of capital, are presenting significant new challenges for workers across the globe. In this guest post, Louise Elliot assesses in more detail the implications for workers in the Global North and South in an analysis of the operations by the large international retail giant Wal-Mart.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Neoliberalism’s Exploitation of Women Workers: the true price of our clothing.

Neoliberalism has faced intense scrutiny over the years from Trade Unionists and Marxists alike for its exploitation of workers and insistence of an economic ‘trickle down’ effect that has yet to materialise. When you look closer, however, another troubling aspect of this industry emerges. Again and again, it seems to be women who are left behind by this system. In many countries in the global South, women are drawn into employment in the lowest paid and most undervalued work in the global economy at the end of Global Commodity Chains in the manufacturing, fresh produce and garment industries. In this guest post, Zoe Kemp analyses the plight of female workers in the Bangladeshi textile sector.

Monday, 27 June 2016

What a victory for the ‘internationalist’ pro-Brexit left!

All European citizens have just been stripped of their European citizenship rights in Northern Ireland and Britain. Hence, no right to vote in local elections, no European social rights (e.g. no European Health Insurance Card), and no right to be treated equally anymore. What a ‘success’ for the ‘internationalist’ pro-Brexit left of Britain and Ireland! As a result, European migration to the UK will be reduced significantly. But note, I mean student migration not labour migration. In this guest post, Roland Erne assesses some of the implications of Brexit for EU nationals working in the UK.  

Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit and the rise of the nationalist right: Where next for the British left?

Photo by Rareclass
‘I don’t mind Germans, Italians, the Spanish, but I hate them Bulgarians and Romanians. Thieves the whole lot of them.

My brother in law cannot get a job in the warehouses, because these agencies favour Polish immigrants.

All our companies are owned by foreigners, German electricity company, French in the water industry. I’d nationalise the whole lot’ (Local Resident in Beeston, Nottingham/UK; 24 June 2016).

As the Brexit vote sinks in, the first nationalist and xenophobic statements can be heard on the streets. In this blog post, I am analysing the wider causes underlying the Brexit vote and reflect on the struggles ahead. I will argue that there have been two campaigns against increasing austerity and the destruction brought about by global capitalist restructuring, the progressive left campaign around the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in the summer of 2015 and the predominantly right-wing Brexit campaign. Last night, the latter won a significant victory, when 51.9 per cent of the people voting endorsed to leave the EU against 48.1 per cent, who had voted to remain in the EU.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

What position for the labour movement on the EU referendum?

On Thursday, 23 June, a referendum will be held to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union. When Jacques Delors, then EU Commission President, announced his vision of a social dimension for European integration in the late 1980s, in the UK he won large parts of the British trade unions over into a pro-EU position. Against the background of neo-liberal restructuring by consecutive Conservative governments, social regulation at the European level offered advances, which would have been impossible in a purely domestic context. Is this situation still the case today?


Photo by Descrier

In this post, I will first assess the current state of affairs for social policies in the EU. Then I will focus on the dangers of nationalism and xenophobic reactions to migration, implied in a no-vote, before concluding in the third section that the focus of the debate should be redirected on what kind of EU we want, rather than the issue of further or less integration.  

Monday, 16 May 2016

How The West Came To Rule – Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Marxism Reading Group at Nottingham!

This semester, the Marxism Reading Group of the Centre for the Study of Social andGlobal Justice (CSSGJ) in the School of Politics and IR at Nottingham University will celebrate its 10th anniversary. In this blog post, I will briefly outline the main purpose and achievements of the group over the years. Moreover, I will provide information about our anniversary workshop on How The West Came To Rule, on 7 June 2016.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Mobilising through Solidarity: the social clinic in Drama and the refugee crisis.


While the Syriza government had to submit to the dictate of the European Union in July 2015, the concrete resistance against austerity has continued unabated on the ground in Greece. In this blog post I will discuss the experiences of the social clinic Solidarity Community Clinic – Pharmacy of Drama (KIFA) in Drama and its recent efforts at helping refugees living in a camp close to town. I will draw on experiences and discussions with activists from a recent visit to this city in Northern Greece.