Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century
Chapter 5. Fast Food Forward—From Industrial Power to Public Image
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 International Union (SEIU) that were outlined in the previous chapter with regards to the janitors/cleaners campaign are indicative of the movement of experimentation we are currently witnessing in labour organisation. The janitors/cleaners’ 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 communities 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 movement 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 ← 139 | 140 → foregrounding direct action, social media, and wider questions regarding social injustice (income inequality, systemic...
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