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Worker Resistance and Media

Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century


Lina Dencik and Peter Wilkin

With developments in media technologies creating new opportunities and challenges for social movements to emerge and mobilize, this book is a timely and necessary examination of how organized labour and workers movements are engaging with this shifting environment. Based on extensive empirical research into emerging migrant and low-wage workers movements and their media practices, this book takes a critical look at the nature of worker resistance to ever-growing global corporate power in a digital age. Situating trade unionism in historical context, the book considers other forms of worker organizations and unionism, including global unionism, social movement unionism, community unionism, and syndicalist unionism, all of which have become increasingly relevant in a digitized world-system. At a time when the labour movement is said to be in crisis, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the state of the labour movement, the future of unions, and the possibilities for challenging corporate exploitation of workers today.
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Conclusion. Re-Imagining Worker Resistance in the Twenty-First Century



The interplay between labour movements and media forms that we have outlined and discussed in this book illustrates the extent to which this is linked to broader issues regarding the potential, nature and challenges of resisting dominant power structures in the modern world-system in order to make the idea that Another World Is Possible real. If there is a consensus to be reached among the debates surrounding the future of the labour movement in the twenty-first century it is that change, and significant change, is necessary for it to survive and flourish. The disagreement arises, unsurprisingly, over exactly what kinds of changes are needed. In the core of the world-system the major trade unions remain wedded to notions of business unionism or various forms of partnership with the state and corporate sector. The latter have only limited interest in relationships with trade unions, largely where the union is willing to act to police its membership against militant rank and file actions. Commentators such as Gray, a former neoliberal intellectual turned critic, argue that there is no possibility of a return to the golden age of social democracy within which many unions felt secure; that moment in the historical development of the modern world-system (limited as it was to specific parts of the core) has now passed (Gray, 2002). ← 213 | 214 →

This conclusion will provide an overview of how the debates around the future of the labour movement have...

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