Ian Allinson

IT: A lot to be angry about

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The image of work in the IT industry is dominated by the clever nerd lacking social skills and the highly paid consultant.

Yet recent months have seen Unite members in Fujitsu staging the first ever national strikes in IT, over jobs, pay and pensions. A group of Unite members in Hewlett-Packard (HP) have won union recognition and, after a one-day strike, a 2.5 percent pay rise. PCS members in HP also struck over pay and jobs. Union organisation has now increased across IT.

Many organisations now outsource IT work. Mergers mean services are dominated by a few multinationals, like BT, HP, Capita, IBM, Fujitsu, Cap Gemini, Accenture, CSC, Atos Origin and Steria.

Labour and the Challenges of Globalization

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Eds: Andreas Bieler, Ingemar Lindberg and Devan Pillay, Pluto Press, £19.99

Modern capitalist agriculture employs a few tens of millions, while 3 billion peasants still make up about half the world's population. A peasant's productivity is a fraction of 1 percent of that of a "modern" farm worker. The neoliberal drive to force poor countries to open their markets to "free" competition in food production means depriving these peasants of their livelihoods, driving them into the cities.

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