Global capitalism is a precarious system. Relying on the steady flow of goods across the world, trans-national companies such as Wal-Mart and Amazon depend on the work of millions in docks, warehouses and logistics centres to keep their goods moving.
This is the global supply chain, and, if the chain is broken, capitalism grinds to a halt. This book looks at case studies across the world to uncover a network of resistance by these workers who, despite their importance, often face vast exploitation and economic violence.
Experiencing first hand wildcat strikes, organised blockades and boycotts, the authors explore a diverse range of case studies, from South China dockworkers to the transformation of the port of Piraeus in Greece, and from the Southern California logistics sector, to dock and logistical workers in Chile and unions in Turkey.
Immanuel Ness is Professor of Political Science at City University of New York. He is author of Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class (Pluto, 2015), co-editor of Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain (Pluto, 2018) and editor of the International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society.
Jake Alimahomed-Wilson is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. His research interests are in the areas of logistics, racism and labour, and workers' struggles. He is the author of Solidarity Forever? Race, Gender, and Unionism in the Ports of Southern California (Lexington Books, 2016), co-author of Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, and the Logistics Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2008) and the editor of Choke Points (Pluto, 2018).
Introduction: Forging Workers' Resistance across the Global Supply Chain - Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Immanuel Ness
Part I: Building Labor Power and Solidarity across the World's Choke Points
1. Labor and Social Movements' Strategic Usage of the Global Commodity Chain Structure - Elizabeth A. Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell and David A. Smith
2. Across the Chain: Labor and Logistics in the European Maritime Logistics Sector - Andrea Bottalico
3. Durban Dockers, Labor Internationalism and Pan-Africanism - Peter Cole
Part II: Disruptions: Logistics Workers Resisting Exploitation
4. Worker Militancy and Strikes in China's Docks - Bai Ruixue and Au Loong Yu
5. 'Work Hard, Make History': Oppression and Resistance in Inland Southern California's Warehouse and Distribution Industry - Ellen Reese and Jason Struna
6. Stop Treating Us Like Dogs! Workers Organizing Resistance at Amazon in Poland - Amazon Workers and Supporters
7. Decolonizing Logistics: Palestinian Truckers on the Occupied Supply Chain - Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Spencer Louis Potiker
Part III: Neoliberalism and the Global Transformation of Ports
8. Decoding the Transition in the Ports of Mumbai - Johnson Abhishek Minz
9. Back to Piraeus: Precarity for All! - Dimitris Parsanoglou and Carolin Philipp
10. Contested Logistics? Neoliberal Modernisation and Citizen Mobilisation in the Port City of Valparaiso - Jorge Budrovich Sáez and Hernán Cuevas Valenzuela
11. Logistics Workers' Struggles in Turkey: Neoliberalism and Counterstrategies - Ça atay Edgücan ahin and Pekin Bengisu Tepe
Part IV: New Organizing Strategies for the Global Supply Chain
12. 'The Drivers Who Move This Country Can Also Stop It': The Struggle of Tanker Drivers in Indonesia' - Abu Mufakhir, Alfian Al'ayubby Pelu, and Fahmi Panimbang
13. Lessons Learned from Eight Years of Experimental Organizing in Southern California's Logistics Sector - Sheheryar Kaoosji
14. Struggles and Grassroots Organizing in an Extended European Choke Point - Carlotta Benvegnù and Niccolò Cuppini
15. Beyond the Waterfront: Maintaining and Expanding Worker Power in the Maritime Supply Chain - Peter Olney
'Takes us straight into these crucial nodes of labor struggle. Choke points in global supply chains are revealed as spaces of hazard and calculation, violence and negotiation, victory and loss, passion and organisation' -- Brett Neilson, Research Professor, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University 'This phenomenal collection is a must-read for anyone interested in the dire state of the contemporary global economy. It offers an unprecedented analysis of supply chain capitalism through case studies from around the world that are beautifully written and carefully researched' -- Deborah Cowen, University of Toronto