A new book entitled Crossing the Divide has been touted as one of the few publications whose authorship and publication was entirely through a south cooperation.
The book that was launched at the University of Cape Coast [UCC] on Tuesday presents accounts of precarious work and the future of labour in Ghana, India and South Africa.
The traditional labour market is shrinking, forcing people to explore other means of employment. In the neo-liberal globalized world, outsourced labour is increasing whilst traditional labour opportunities diminish.
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At the ceremony to launch the book at UCC, the Copy Editor Karin Pampalis highlighted the immense significance of the book. According to her, some employers are only interested to pay just the hours worked as the ad hoc basis serves as a cheaper means of employment.
“There is a growing tendency among some in governments and the corporate world to say that we should all become entrepreneurs, consultants, and freelancers: in order words, to develop our own jobs. They make it sound as if our future is in our own hands; is not their responsibility and this is not fair”.
Global campaign against precarious work Photo : Industriall Europe
Meanwhile considering municipal spaces, the authors of the book looked at what they termed as visible and invisible workers. Employees in waste collection for example fall within both visible and invisible whilst domestic workers are invisible.
In an address at the Book Launch yesterday, Prof Akua Opokua Britwum an associate Professor with the Institute for Development Studies says the greatest challenge facing this category of workers is how to organize.
“We were interested really in how they were organizing, because these are workers that live outside the traditional working standard employment relations: a permanent work in a permanent work place and these really had labour conditions that makes them precarious. We believe it is only through organizing that such workers can stand to gain their rights and also the fact that the default mode of protecting workers itself coming under attack.”
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The book compares the situation of precarious work in Ghana, South Africa, and India. Prof. Biritwum says they were struck by the gender dimensions of the precarious job labour market.
“We were also track by the stereotypes of these gender space that characterized the precarious labour market that jobs labelled female were tending to be more vulnerable than those labelled men.”
Source : ATL FM NEWS