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Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, and the Logistics by Edna Bonacich, Jake B. Wilson

By Edna Bonacich, Jake B. Wilson

In Getting the Goods, Edna Bonacich and Jake B. Wilson specialize in the Southern California ports of l. a. and lengthy Beach―which jointly obtain forty percentage of the approximately $2 trillion worthy of products imported each year to the United States―to study the impression of the logistics revolution on employees in transportation and distribution. equipped round the invention of transport bins and communications know-how, the logistics revolution has enabled large outlets like Walmart and aim to promote affordable client items made utilizing low-wage exertions in constructing international locations. the products are shipped via an effective, reasonably cheap, intermodal freight method, during which bins are moved from factories in Asia to distribution facilities around the usa with out ever being opened.

Bonacich and Wilson keep on with the circulation of imports from Asian factories, exploring the jobs of importers, box transport businesses, the ports, railroad and trucking businesses, and warehouses. At each one degree, Getting the products increases vital questions on how the logistics revolution impacts logistics employees. Drawing commonly on interviews with employees and bosses in any respect degrees of the availability chain, on reviews, and on fiscal facts, Bonacich and Wilson locate that, quite often, stipulations have deteriorated for employees. yet additionally they observe that adjustments within the process of creation and distribution supply new strategic possibilities for hard work to realize energy. A much-needed corrective to either uncritical celebrations of containerization and the worldwide financial system and pessimistic predictions concerning the way forward for the U.S. exertions flow, Getting the Goods turns into required interpreting for students and scholars in sociology, political financial system, and exertions studies.

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Extra resources for Getting the Goods: Ports, Labor, and the Logistics Revolution

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Despite the fact that we have used the term parent company to designate the firm that sits at the top of the network, its outsourced producers are typically not subsidiaries. The parent usually has no ownership stake in its contractors (though there may be exceptions). The typical relationship is arm’s-length, allowing the parent the supreme flexibility of terminating the relationship at any time with minimal cost. Flexible production is connected with offshore production. Once firms began to outsource their production, there was no need to keep it close by.

Whereas capital, and the governments that stand behind it, is determined to eliminate border limitations to the free movement of capital, it has no intention of providing the same rights to labor. Capital is free to find the best deal it can anywhere in the world. Labor is afforded no such equivalent right. The result is the strengthening of the position of capital in relation to labor. Racialization helps to justify the inevitable increased inequality. The workers themselves, their characteristics, their lack of sophistication, their helplessness, their lack of skills, their great need, their inferior culture, their sexism, their corrupt political institutions, and so on are to blame for their poor treatment.

Big, stable companies lend themselves to unionization. Contingent relations make it much more difficult. ) With contingent connections, the parent can effectively shut out unionization. Consider what happens if the workers in a subcontracting firm demand a union or demand increased pay or better working conditions. The parent, faced with increased costs from that particular firm, is likely to simply drop it from its roster and find another who pays what the parent generally pays and not a penny more.

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