Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century
Chapter 7. Online Labour Activism and State-Corporate Control
ONLINE LABOUR ACTIVISM AND STATE-CORPORATE CONTROL
“It’s like holding all your political meetings at McDonald’s and ensuring that the police come and film you while you do so.” (Yossarian, Indymedia programmer on the use of commercial social media platforms by activists, quoted in Uldam, 2014, p. 10)
As we have argued in this book, the shape and form that worker resistance is taking in the twenty-first century illustrate significant challenges and opportunities for how an organised labour movement can stay relevant and advance workers’ interests against increasingly expanding global corporate powers. Our case studies highlight the ways in which developments in media forms, in particular, can become an integral part to new ways of organising, mobilising and campaigning amongst previously unorganised sectors of the labour market. However, they also highlight some of the substantial difficulties that unions and labour organisations are facing in creating democratic, sustainable and strong resistance movements amongst low-wage workers that limit the potentials for changing media practices to challenge global corporate power. When looking at transformations in labour movements and the ways in which digital and social media become integrated into struggles over working conditions it is important not to abstract these technologies from the context in which they are being used. What is more, the nature and development of these technologies have their own histories ← 187 | 188 → and processes that need to form part of any analysis. Indeed, social movements and protests have shown over the years that...
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