British jobs for British workers? Contesting work, nation and globalisation through the Lindsey Oil Refinery disputes

Ince, A., Featherstone, D., Cumbers, A. , MacKinnon, D. and Strauss, K. (2015) British jobs for British workers? Contesting work, nation and globalisation through the Lindsey Oil Refinery disputes. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 47(1), pp. 139-157. (doi:10.1111/anti.12099)

Ince, A., Featherstone, D., Cumbers, A. , MacKinnon, D. and Strauss, K. (2015) British jobs for British workers? Contesting work, nation and globalisation through the Lindsey Oil Refinery disputes. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography, 47(1), pp. 139-157. (doi:10.1111/anti.12099)

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Abstract

This paper explores the relationships between labour organising, globalisation and national identity through an engagement with the 2009 Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes. Some strikers adopted the controversial slogan ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ in response to employers’ attempts to undercut existing wages and conditions with a new migrant workforce. This led to accusations of xenophobia. We make three inter-related arguments. First, we contend that it is necessary to interrogate the spatialised power relations generated through particular forms of labour agency enacted in relation to globalising processes. Second, since these responses can be politically ambiguous, success in territorially based disputes does not always equate with broader (transnational) class agency. Third, relevant to the project of labour geography, we propose that labour scholars and activists be more attuned to the mundane ambiguities in labour agency, and the subsequent need to frame local action within a broader relational politics of global labour solidarity.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ince, Dr Anthony and Featherstone, Dr David and MacKinnon, Dr Daniel and Cumbers, Professor Andrew and Strauss, Dr Kendra
Authors: Ince, A., Featherstone, D., Cumbers, A., MacKinnon, D., and Strauss, K.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Research Group:Human Geography Research Group
Journal Name:Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0066-4812

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