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Trade union responses to call centre offshoring

Taylor, P. and Bain, P.M. (2007) Trade union responses to call centre offshoring. In: Reclaiming the Economy: Alternatives to Market Fundamentalism in Scotland and Beyond. Scottish Left Review Press, pp. 80-95. ISBN 978-0-9550362-3-2

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In looking at call centre work, where jobs are notoriously easy to shift from one place to the next according to the viscitudes of the global labour market, Taylor and Bain identify the limits of corporate hypermobility. In doing so they also point to room for internationalist inspired manoeuvre on the part of workers and give examples of trade union successes in the UK as well as the development of UNITES in India, a union representing call centre workers. Their argument is that modest successes which articulate solidarity between workers in different countries can influence the pattern of future organisation. Essentially, the scale of the internationalist task in unions needs to be broken down into practical goals made possible by internationalist thinking.