Essential Work, Disposable Workers: Migration, Capitalism and Class (Paperback)

Essential Work, Disposable Workers: Migration, Capitalism and Class By Mostafa Henaway, Harsha Walia (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Mostafa Henaway, Harsha Walia (Foreword by)
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(Cultural Studies)


In recent years waves of migration from the Middle East, Latin America and Africa to Europe and North America have been met with a corresponding rise in anti-immigrant, far-right populism in host countries, placing the question of migration at the forefront of politics and social movements. In this sweeping account, Henaway seeks to understand these patterns through contextualizing global migration within a history of global capitalism, class formation and the financialization of migration. As globalization intensifies, workers everywhere are forced to compete for wages -- not through foreign investment and outsourcing, but through an increasingly mobile working class. Henaway rejects the dominant responses of restricting or "managing" migration through temporary worker programs, proposing that stopping a race to the bottom for all working people involves building solidarity with migrant worker struggles for decent work and justice. Through examining the organizing strategies of migrant workers at giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart as well as discount retailers like Dollarama and Sports Direct, the immense power and agency of precarious workers in global companies like Uber or Airbnb, the successful resistance of taxi drivers and fast food workers around the world, and the contemporary mass labour movement organized by new unions and workers' centres, Henaway shows how migrant demands and strategies can help shape radical working class politics.

About the Author

Mostafa Henaway, a Canadian-born Egyptian, is a long-time community organizer at the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, where he has been organizing for justice for immigrant/migrant workers for over two decades. He is also a researcher and PhD candidate at Concordia UniversityHarsha Walia is a South Asian activist and writer based in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territories. She has been involved in community-based grassroots migrant justice, feminist, anti-racist, Indigenous solidarity, anti-capitalist, Palestinian liberation, and anti-imperialist movements, including No One is Illegal and Women's Memorial March Committee. She is formally trained in law, works with women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and is the author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013).

Product Details
ISBN: 9781773632254
ISBN-10: 1773632256
Publisher: Fernwood Publishing
Publication Date: July 25th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English