York hosts presentation to explore industrial struggle in global south

York University’s Global Labour Research Centre, along with the Socialist Project and the Centre for Social Justice, will present a talk on “Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class” on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 7 to 9pm at the United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St., Toronto.

The talk, which runs as part of the Global Labour Speaker Series, will feature Immanuel Ness, professor of political science at the City University of New York, along with discussants Sam Gindin and Viviana Patroni of York University, and Kyla Sankey of University of Toronto.

Global Labour Ness
Presenters will explore the issue of the industrial struggle continuing, particularly in the global south, despite labour in the developed world being in retreat through Ness’s book Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class.

Ness will provide a thorough and expert perspective of three key countries where workers are fighting the spread of unchecked industrial capitalism: China, India and South Africa. In each case, he considers the broader historical forces in play, such as the effects of imperialism, the decline of the international union movement, class struggle, and the growing reserve of available labor.

Ness then narrows his focus in each case on the specifics of the current grassroots insurgency: the militancy of miners in South Africa, new labor organizations in India, and the rise of worker insurgencies in China.

The product of extensive first-hand field research, Southern Insurgency paints a picture of the new industrial proletariat in the Global South – a group that lives a precarious, frightening existence yet at the same time offers hope for new approaches to solidarity and the anti-capitalist struggle.

Ness’s book, Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class, is published by Pluto Press (2015). He is also author of Guest Workers and U.S. Corporate Despotism and Immigrants, Unions, and the New U.S. Labour Market, as well as numerous other articles and academic and popular books on labour, worker insurgencies, community public and social health, and trade unions. He is editor of the International Encyclopaedia of Revolution and Working USA: The Journal of Labour and Society.

About the discussants: Gindin was research director of the Canadian Auto Workers and is now an adjunct professor at York University in Toronto; Patroni is an associate professor of international development studies in the Department of Social Science at York University; and Sankey is a Toronto-based activist, a PhD candidate in human geography at the University of Toronto, and also affiliated with CERLAC at York University.

For more, visit the Facebook event page.

The event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Social Justice, the Socialist Project, and the Department of Social Science, York University.

For more on the Global Labour Research Centre, visit www.yorku.ca/glrc.