Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century
Chapter 5. Fast Food Forward—FromIndustrial Power to Public Image
· 5 · fast food forward—from industrial power to public image As we have argued in this book, we are seeing trends of new and revisited forms of unionism emerging, particularly amongst low-wage workers movements. The developments and initiatives within the Service Employees Internation- al Union (SEIU) that were outlined in the previous chapter with regards to the janitors/cleaners campaign are indicative of the movement of experimen- tation we are currently witnessing in labour organisation. The janitors/clean- ers’ campaign set out some fundamental shifts in how previously unorganised sectors might be incorporated into broader community and social movement related campaigns, and the possibilities for more society-based movements of worker resistance as we have seen with the advancement of the living wage campaign in the UK. Moving towards such forms of worker resistance allows for a significant role to be played by media, and particularly new media forms, as a way to create wider networks of solidarity within and between commu- nities and groups. These trends have been revisited again, also in relation to the SEIU, in the context of the fast food workers movement that kicked off in the US in 2012. As we will see in this chapter, the fast food workers move- ment has moved the debate about the changing nature of worker resistance along as it has situated labour movements within the continuous narrative surrounding ‘new’ protest movements, particularly the Occupy movement, by 140 worker resistance and media foregrounding direct action, social media, and wider questions regarding so-...
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