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Recasting Workers’ Power: Work and Inequality In the Shadow of the Digital Age

When: Thursday, 12 October 2023 - Thursday, 12 October 2023
Where: Hybrid Event

Online and In-person at North Lodge, 2 St Davids Pl, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193
Start time:18:00

For more details contact:
Usithandile Zikalala:



For online attendance click to register

For In-person click to RSVP

Please RSVP by 21 September 2023

Cost: Free but registration is required

SCIS and FES invite you to the launch of Edward Webster and Lynford Dor's book - Recasting Workers’ Power; Work and Inequality in the Shadow of the Digital Age

Join the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung for a hybrid book launch of Emeritus Professor Edward Webster and Lynford Dor's recently published book:  Recasting Workers' Power: Work and Inequality in the Shadow of the Digital Age (Bristol University Press / Wits University Press)

There is a widespread view that labour as a counter-hegemonic force has come to an end. This theoretically innovative book based on ground-breaking field work challenges this pessimistic “End of Labour Thesis”. Drawing on labour process theory and the power resources approach the book shows how the power of  workers’ is recast as work is restructured. As capital overcomes obstacles to accumulation through various fixes, the working class and its organisations are restructured . By highlighting the struggles of largely precarious and informal workers in sub-Saharan Africa, the book clearly articulates the challenges workers face but suggests some grounds for optimism in the new and hybrid forms of organisation emerging on the shadows of the digital age.

The question raised by these findings is whether these embryonic forms of worker organisation – what the authors call the “Southern trend” – are sustainable and could become the foundations for a new cycle of worker solidarity and union growth. Despite the changes brought about by globalisation and digitalisation, the book shows how informal solidaristic groups among workers continue.

The authors conclude that if traditional unions continue to focus on those workers in stable jobs the growing number of precarious workers will be left without a voice and will have to build their power afresh.  The result will be deepening inequality and a diverging labour movement. What has been called “dualization” will shape Southern labour’s future

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