Disruption and control: contesting mobilities through the picket line

Kelliher, D. (2023) Disruption and control: contesting mobilities through the picket line. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 113(9), pp. 2252-2268. (doi: 10.1080/24694452.2023.2221725)

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By exploring the relationship between picket lines and drivers in 1970s Britain, this article considers how mobility and the spatial practices of trade unionism shape labor geographies. Focusing on issues raised by work on logistics and blockades, it argues that too much emphasis has been placed on tactics of interruption. Drawing on Toscano writings, I suggest that paying attention to the complex entanglement of disruption and control enables a more sophisticated account of workers’ agency. The article explores three key moments in the relationship between picketing and mobility: the Citation1972 miners’ strike, debates over picketing legislation in the mid-1970s, and the road haulage dispute in Citation1979. In doing so, it makes a number of contributions to labor geography. First, it foregrounds the picket line as a key site for understanding the spatialities of working-class organization. Second, it highlights how struggles for control are shaped by competing conceptions of rights and moral economies. Third, it develops thinking on the relationship between mobility and agency by exploring how workers’ power became entangled with the control of movement.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (F19\1000750).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kelliher, Dr Diarmaid
Authors: Kelliher, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Annals of the American Association of Geographers
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):2469-4460
Published Online:20 July 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Annals of the American Association of Geographers 113(9):2252-2268
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305827British AcademyDiarmaid KelliherBritish Academy (BRITACAD)PF19\100075GES - Geography