The global economy seems indomitable. Goods travel all over the globe, supplying just-in-time retail stocks, keeping consumers satisfied and businesses profitable.
But there are vulnerabilities, and Choke Points reveals them—and the ways that workers are finding ways to make use of the power that those choke points afford them. Exploring a number of case studies around the world, this book uncovers a little-known network of resistance by logistics workers worldwide who are determined to contest their exploitation by the forces of global capital. Through close accounts of wildcat strikes, roadblocks, and boycotts, from South China to Southern California, the contributors build a picture of a movement that flies under the radar, but carries the potential to force dramatic change.
Winner of the United Association for Labor Education Book Award 2021, this is essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the role of Amazon in our economy and society. With Amazon, supply-chain, and unionization in the news, it is both timely and incredibly informative.
Amazon is the most powerful corporation on the planet and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, has become one of the richest individuals in history, and one of the few people to profit from a global pandemic. Its dominance has reshaped the global economy itself: we live in the age of “Amazon Capitalism.”
“One-click” instant consumerism and its immense variety of products has made Amazon a worldwide household name, with over 60% of US households subscribing to Amazon Prime. In turn, these subscribers are surveilled by the corporation. Amazon is also one of the world's largest logistics companies, resulting in weakened unions and lowered labor standards.
The company has also become the largest provider of cloud-computing services and home surveillance systems, not to mention the ubiquitous Alexa.
With cutting-edge analyses, this book looks at the many dark facets of the corporation, including automation, surveillance, tech work, workers' struggles, algorithmic challenges, the disruption of local democracy and much more. The Cost of Free Shipping shows how Amazon represents a fundamental shift in global capitalism that we should name, interrogate, and be primed to resist.