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The politics of work, organization and resistance in 21st century retail chains.


I don't think there's a consumer-oriented answer to the problem of bad retail jobs. Ultimately it's got to be through the assertion of workers' own power in the workplace, with the help of a concerted, national unionization campaign, that will turn the tide and create a livable retail sector, and hopefully broader retail sector that supports workers in their day to day lives.

Sociologist Peter Ikeler examines the precarious nature of retail work in the 21st century - from the effects of anti-union policies on the corporate and state level, to the complications of performing service work between employers and customers - and finds a path to collective action in the teamwork dynamic of retail employment, and the unifying nature of low wages and little bargaining power.

Peter is author of Hard Sell: Work and Resistance in Retail Chains from ILR Press.

Interview Transcript via Antidote Zine

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Peter Ikeler

Peter Ikeler is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY College at Old Westbury. 


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