Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

20

From a wider global angle, the GCC view seeks to understand "the unequal distribution of rewards among the various activities that constitute the single overarching division of labor defining and bounding the world economy." This is a critical approach, grounded in political economy (and neo-Marxist notions), which is rather different from the focus on "global value chains" (GVCs) and "supply chain management" (SCM) that seems to have subsumed much of the initial scholarly energy behind this field. [...]

[...] we argue that a "lengthened" GCC approach (which begins with extraction and focuses on global logistics) offers insight into ways that workers and social movements can exploit choke points to resist the power of capital and states. Indeed, there are well-known historical disruptions that fit our rubric, in particular some famous global coordinated actions by dockworkers in the twentieth century. [...]

cites Giovanni Arrighi and Jessica Drangel, "The stratification of the world economy" (1981)

—p.20 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago

From a wider global angle, the GCC view seeks to understand "the unequal distribution of rewards among the various activities that constitute the single overarching division of labor defining and bounding the world economy." This is a critical approach, grounded in political economy (and neo-Marxist notions), which is rather different from the focus on "global value chains" (GVCs) and "supply chain management" (SCM) that seems to have subsumed much of the initial scholarly energy behind this field. [...]

[...] we argue that a "lengthened" GCC approach (which begins with extraction and focuses on global logistics) offers insight into ways that workers and social movements can exploit choke points to resist the power of capital and states. Indeed, there are well-known historical disruptions that fit our rubric, in particular some famous global coordinated actions by dockworkers in the twentieth century. [...]

cites Giovanni Arrighi and Jessica Drangel, "The stratification of the world economy" (1981)

—p.20 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago
22

In order to place labor at the center of our analysis of the world economy, we must first determine just how workers in commodity chains derive their power and assess its potential as leverage for workplace gains. Labor scholars extensively discuss workers' bargaining power, not only in broad terms, but specifically as a result of their structural positions in economic activities. The key question is not only what this sort of "positional power" of workers entails, but how it can translate into concrete gains in the workplace.

Positional power, in Luca Perrone's classic exposition, refers to the "varying amount of 'disruptive potential' endowed on workers by virtue of their different positions in systems of economic interdependencies." Michael Wallace and his colleagues extend this definition by specifying the spatial locations that labour interests might disrupt: their own local workplace, or industries "upstream" or "downstream" in the productive network. In this framework, positional power is thought to be greatest when it has disruptive potential beyond the local context of work.

notes later that pos power doesnt always indicate actual striking tendencies (or success rates), but does predict:

  • intersectoral wage differentials (Perrone)
  • higher wages when disrupting upstream (blocking previous stages)
—p.22 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago

In order to place labor at the center of our analysis of the world economy, we must first determine just how workers in commodity chains derive their power and assess its potential as leverage for workplace gains. Labor scholars extensively discuss workers' bargaining power, not only in broad terms, but specifically as a result of their structural positions in economic activities. The key question is not only what this sort of "positional power" of workers entails, but how it can translate into concrete gains in the workplace.

Positional power, in Luca Perrone's classic exposition, refers to the "varying amount of 'disruptive potential' endowed on workers by virtue of their different positions in systems of economic interdependencies." Michael Wallace and his colleagues extend this definition by specifying the spatial locations that labour interests might disrupt: their own local workplace, or industries "upstream" or "downstream" in the productive network. In this framework, positional power is thought to be greatest when it has disruptive potential beyond the local context of work.

notes later that pos power doesnt always indicate actual striking tendencies (or success rates), but does predict:

  • intersectoral wage differentials (Perrone)
  • higher wages when disrupting upstream (blocking previous stages)
—p.22 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago
26

[...] For steel-based GCCs, the scale of investment and operations, capital intensity, and technologies of extraction and processing combine to make these chains vulnerable to upstream disruption by coal and iron ore mining, railroad, port shopping, and steel mill workers. Strong unions emerged in many countries in these industries because of the use of positional power by workers in these networks. For firms in these industries, it has often been cheaper to buy peace with unionized workers than to risk disruption of the massive GCCs, given the high cost and rapidly mounting losses when facilities are left idle by strikes. This concern has motivated extensive efforts by steel firms and their home core states to develop new, less unionized nodes for the chains in coal and iron ore [...] to reduce the risk of disruption, even when it reduces overall efficiency of the GCC by increasing the distances raw materials must be transported, or raises extraction and production costs.

—p.26 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago

[...] For steel-based GCCs, the scale of investment and operations, capital intensity, and technologies of extraction and processing combine to make these chains vulnerable to upstream disruption by coal and iron ore mining, railroad, port shopping, and steel mill workers. Strong unions emerged in many countries in these industries because of the use of positional power by workers in these networks. For firms in these industries, it has often been cheaper to buy peace with unionized workers than to risk disruption of the massive GCCs, given the high cost and rapidly mounting losses when facilities are left idle by strikes. This concern has motivated extensive efforts by steel firms and their home core states to develop new, less unionized nodes for the chains in coal and iron ore [...] to reduce the risk of disruption, even when it reduces overall efficiency of the GCC by increasing the distances raw materials must be transported, or raises extraction and production costs.

—p.26 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago
31

As an industry, logistics plays a crucial role in linking up the systems of global production and consumption, which means the logistics workers are central not just to their own immediate work in distribution, but to these social arenas as well. [...] workers involved in extraction and manufacturing, as well as retail workers, and ultimately consumers, are all embedded in the same containerized manufactured goods commodity chain, and are subject to various mechanisms of exploitation at the hands of the capitalist interests controlling this commodity chain. Because of this, logistics workers might have a crucial role in interfacing with these broad categories of social actors and uniting with them in focused struggles against capital. [...]

—p.31 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago

As an industry, logistics plays a crucial role in linking up the systems of global production and consumption, which means the logistics workers are central not just to their own immediate work in distribution, but to these social arenas as well. [...] workers involved in extraction and manufacturing, as well as retail workers, and ultimately consumers, are all embedded in the same containerized manufactured goods commodity chain, and are subject to various mechanisms of exploitation at the hands of the capitalist interests controlling this commodity chain. Because of this, logistics workers might have a crucial role in interfacing with these broad categories of social actors and uniting with them in focused struggles against capital. [...]

—p.31 Labor and Social Movements’ Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure (19) by David A. Smith, Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell 1 week ago
44

The real force of economic globalisation is the declining cost of international transport -- and the same force is moving the inshoring process. In the maritime leg of the logistics chain, a Greek owned vessel, built in Korea, may be chartered to a Danish operator, who employs Filipino seafarers via a Cypriot crewing agent, is registered in Panama, insured in the United Kingdom [...] it is cheaper to ship freshly caught fish from the West Coast of the United States to China to be deboned and filleted by Chinese workers and then shipped back again, than it is to pay for the cost of that work under US labor regulations. Liberalization and globalization of the maritime industry has led to a reduction in transport costs.

this is mad

—p.44 Across the Chain: Labor and Conflicts in the European Maritime Logistics Sector (35) by Andrea Bottalico 1 week ago

The real force of economic globalisation is the declining cost of international transport -- and the same force is moving the inshoring process. In the maritime leg of the logistics chain, a Greek owned vessel, built in Korea, may be chartered to a Danish operator, who employs Filipino seafarers via a Cypriot crewing agent, is registered in Panama, insured in the United Kingdom [...] it is cheaper to ship freshly caught fish from the West Coast of the United States to China to be deboned and filleted by Chinese workers and then shipped back again, than it is to pay for the cost of that work under US labor regulations. Liberalization and globalization of the maritime industry has led to a reduction in transport costs.

this is mad

—p.44 Across the Chain: Labor and Conflicts in the European Maritime Logistics Sector (35) by Andrea Bottalico 1 week ago
51

Dockworkers are quite international-minded, more inclined than most to see local struggles in larger contexts due to the nature of shipping -- moving goods, people, and information around the seven seas. Dockers interpret their work and world through a global lens. In Durban and many other ports, they deploy their power to advance internationalist, anti-authoritarian ideals. Global labor historian Marcel van der Linden uses the term "labour internationalism" for actions like the one described above, and defines it as "the collective actions of a group of workers in one country who set aside their short-term interests as a national group on behalf of a group of workers in another country, in order to promote their long-term interests as members of a transnational class." In doing so, they challenge the notion that workers are powerless to shape the world.

—p.51 Durban Dockers, Labor Internationalism, and Pan-Africanism (50) by Peter Cole 1 week ago

Dockworkers are quite international-minded, more inclined than most to see local struggles in larger contexts due to the nature of shipping -- moving goods, people, and information around the seven seas. Dockers interpret their work and world through a global lens. In Durban and many other ports, they deploy their power to advance internationalist, anti-authoritarian ideals. Global labor historian Marcel van der Linden uses the term "labour internationalism" for actions like the one described above, and defines it as "the collective actions of a group of workers in one country who set aside their short-term interests as a national group on behalf of a group of workers in another country, in order to promote their long-term interests as members of a transnational class." In doing so, they challenge the notion that workers are powerless to shape the world.

—p.51 Durban Dockers, Labor Internationalism, and Pan-Africanism (50) by Peter Cole 1 week ago
73

[...] On November 3, 2014, 1,000 truck drivers went on strike, which led to conflict with the police who had fined many drivers for illegal parking. Some drivers had been fined ten times a month and had paid a total of 2,000 yuan. The drivers complained that this was not their fault, as the local government and the Yantian Port Group, in response to rises in the price of land and property, had demolished many parking spaces to make way for new residential housing and five-star hotels. The shortage of parking spaces had driven up the cost, and drivers were finding it hard to cope.

reading this made me think of another framing for strike actions (and other coordinate labour responses): as a market correction. the invisible hand of the (labour) market responding/reacting to changes, prompting a move toward a new equilibrium

—p.73 Worker Militancy and Strikes in China’s Docks (67) by Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue 5 days, 21 hours ago

[...] On November 3, 2014, 1,000 truck drivers went on strike, which led to conflict with the police who had fined many drivers for illegal parking. Some drivers had been fined ten times a month and had paid a total of 2,000 yuan. The drivers complained that this was not their fault, as the local government and the Yantian Port Group, in response to rises in the price of land and property, had demolished many parking spaces to make way for new residential housing and five-star hotels. The shortage of parking spaces had driven up the cost, and drivers were finding it hard to cope.

reading this made me think of another framing for strike actions (and other coordinate labour responses): as a market correction. the invisible hand of the (labour) market responding/reacting to changes, prompting a move toward a new equilibrium

—p.73 Worker Militancy and Strikes in China’s Docks (67) by Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue 5 days, 21 hours ago
76

Important improvements to working conditions were also made following the strike. While previously workers had to sleep on the floor, leading many to suffer from rheumatism, bunk beds for workers were set up. Improved bathroom facilities were also installed, which provided access to hot water for the first time. [...] before the strike the management "treated our workers like slaves," but after the strike they were unable to do this nay more. [...]

christ this is so bad

—p.76 Worker Militancy and Strikes in China’s Docks (67) by Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue 5 days, 21 hours ago

Important improvements to working conditions were also made following the strike. While previously workers had to sleep on the floor, leading many to suffer from rheumatism, bunk beds for workers were set up. Improved bathroom facilities were also installed, which provided access to hot water for the first time. [...] before the strike the management "treated our workers like slaves," but after the strike they were unable to do this nay more. [...]

christ this is so bad

—p.76 Worker Militancy and Strikes in China’s Docks (67) by Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue 5 days, 21 hours ago
77

When China became the world's sweatshop and number one exporter of cheap goods, this brought about a big leap forward for its ports and related industries. In mainland China, the Chinese government has been very capable in building a corporate state to mediate the interests of opposing classes through compelling all payers to join its state-sponsored organisations. At times the corporate state does pacify class antagonism, but there are also times when it fails to function, and class conflicts erupt into a triangular struggle between the employers, employees, and the state.

In the 2007 Yantian crane divers' strike, for instance, it was obvious that the official union was useless in conveying workers' grievances to the local authorities. This not only gave workers no other option but to go on strike, it also prompted them to target the official union and demand the right to set up an autonomous union. [...]

fascinating

—p.77 Worker Militancy and Strikes in China’s Docks (67) by Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue 5 days, 21 hours ago

When China became the world's sweatshop and number one exporter of cheap goods, this brought about a big leap forward for its ports and related industries. In mainland China, the Chinese government has been very capable in building a corporate state to mediate the interests of opposing classes through compelling all payers to join its state-sponsored organisations. At times the corporate state does pacify class antagonism, but there are also times when it fails to function, and class conflicts erupt into a triangular struggle between the employers, employees, and the state.

In the 2007 Yantian crane divers' strike, for instance, it was obvious that the official union was useless in conveying workers' grievances to the local authorities. This not only gave workers no other option but to go on strike, it also prompted them to target the official union and demand the right to set up an autonomous union. [...]

fascinating

—p.77 Worker Militancy and Strikes in China’s Docks (67) by Au Loong-Yu, Bai Ruixue 5 days, 21 hours ago
83

First, most blue-collar warehouse workers earn poverty-level wages, and at least two-thirds lack employer-provided health insurance [...] they earn $10.05 per hour [...] needed to afford rent and other basic living expenses: $11.59 per hour for a single worker [...] only about one out of five temporary warehouse workers reported having employer-provided health insurance, compared with 54 percent of direct hires. On average direct hires in the industry earned about $11.33 per hour and $21,444 per year. This compares with temps' average earnings of $9.42 per hour and $10,034 per year. [...] blue-collar warehouse workers earn an average annual income of only $16,800.

In part, low incomes reflect the lack of year-round employment, and sometimes the lack of full-time employment. Serving "just-in-time" consumer markets, the warehouse industry is highly seasonal. Moreover, in order to respond effectively to the fluctuating demand for consumer goods in the "just in time" retail economy while minimizing labor costs, many warehouse employees rely heavily on temporary agency workers (or temps). [...] between 46 and 63 percent of blue-collar warehouse workers are temps.

As a result, unemployment and underemployment among warehouse workers is common. Indeed, about 28 percent of all blue-collar warehouse workers in the region were found to be unemployed in the 2009-13 ACS. Unemployment is especially chronic among temps [...] 70 percent of all temporary blue collar warehouse workers in Inland SoCal were employed less than 10 months per year.

this has me thinking. any corporate bootlicker would defend the temp system as a way for the company to be flexible and save costs etc. but who picks up the costs for the worker? is the worker expected to just find another job for all the downtime? what if they can't, because all the jobs have the same up/downtimes? so the worker is supposed to just make less money due to factors outside their control?

reminds me of that part in my gig economy piece about expecting someone else to pick up the slack, who cares who

—p.83 “Work Hard, Make History”: Oppression and Resistance in Inland Southern California’s Warehouse and Distribution Industry (81) by Ellen Reese, Jason Struna 5 days, 21 hours ago

First, most blue-collar warehouse workers earn poverty-level wages, and at least two-thirds lack employer-provided health insurance [...] they earn $10.05 per hour [...] needed to afford rent and other basic living expenses: $11.59 per hour for a single worker [...] only about one out of five temporary warehouse workers reported having employer-provided health insurance, compared with 54 percent of direct hires. On average direct hires in the industry earned about $11.33 per hour and $21,444 per year. This compares with temps' average earnings of $9.42 per hour and $10,034 per year. [...] blue-collar warehouse workers earn an average annual income of only $16,800.

In part, low incomes reflect the lack of year-round employment, and sometimes the lack of full-time employment. Serving "just-in-time" consumer markets, the warehouse industry is highly seasonal. Moreover, in order to respond effectively to the fluctuating demand for consumer goods in the "just in time" retail economy while minimizing labor costs, many warehouse employees rely heavily on temporary agency workers (or temps). [...] between 46 and 63 percent of blue-collar warehouse workers are temps.

As a result, unemployment and underemployment among warehouse workers is common. Indeed, about 28 percent of all blue-collar warehouse workers in the region were found to be unemployed in the 2009-13 ACS. Unemployment is especially chronic among temps [...] 70 percent of all temporary blue collar warehouse workers in Inland SoCal were employed less than 10 months per year.

this has me thinking. any corporate bootlicker would defend the temp system as a way for the company to be flexible and save costs etc. but who picks up the costs for the worker? is the worker expected to just find another job for all the downtime? what if they can't, because all the jobs have the same up/downtimes? so the worker is supposed to just make less money due to factors outside their control?

reminds me of that part in my gig economy piece about expecting someone else to pick up the slack, who cares who

—p.83 “Work Hard, Make History”: Oppression and Resistance in Inland Southern California’s Warehouse and Distribution Industry (81) by Ellen Reese, Jason Struna 5 days, 21 hours ago