Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops [4x]
nettime's white collar sweatshop on Tue, 10 Aug 2004 00:55:13 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops [4x]

Table of Contents:

   Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops                                             
     Carl Guderian <blacque_jacques {AT} yahoo.com>                                       

   Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops                                             
     Joy <joy {AT} sarai.net>                                                             

   Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops                                             
     "porculus" <porculus {AT} wanadoo.fr>                                                

   Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops                                             
     Morlock Elloi <morlockelloi {AT} yahoo.com>                                          


Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 04:12:28 -0700 (PDT)
From: Carl Guderian <blacque_jacques {AT} yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops

- --- Jeebesh Bagchi <jeebesh {AT} sarai.net> wrote:

> US and Europe are based on massive exploitation and
> extraction of surplus
> from its working population. Its population is made
> to work hard and very
> very intensely. This population have very little say
> in how this surplus
> is deployed. (`Rivethead` just give a tip of the
> iceberg.)

Close enough, with the US leading the pack in that
respect, the UK not far behind and continental Europe
in the peloton but catching up thanks to center-right,
corporate-friendly politicians, all singing the same
hymn of "flexibility" as the way to the heaven of a
US-style economic long boom (yes, racing, choir dogs).
Industry demands being inflexible, it means longer
working hours for less pay (there's a UK initiative to
count bank holidays as part of the four weeks' paid
holiday), and easier and cheaper ways to fire workers.
The goad is the threat that companies will decamp to
Eastern Europe (en route to China) sooner rather than

>  Come on. Now we can have to coin a new term a
> post-exploitative society!  
> The deafening silence on intensity and exploitation
> of labour allows on
> one hand the packaging of the social ideal and
> exported to all of the
> world. One the other hand buffers great moral outcry
> on aesthetics of
> productions in `bad capitalism` spaces from any
> serious reflection on
> categories.

Exactly, but the promise of a US-style economic
heaven, even shown in soft-focus as "good capitalism"
is a shuck anyway. It doesn't have to stand up to
close scrutiny as long as it's too far away to show
much details. When the dogs catch up with the
mechanical rabbit near the US finish line, the
backdrop is whipped away and the new finish line is
much farther away, in China. By then it's harder to
stop and turn back than it is now, and nobody will
have time off from work to closely examine anything.

The bosses will be the Sons of Heaven in a global
Middle Kingdom.

Fear, and tremblingly obey!


whose hair is almost long enough to make a decent

Date: Mon, 09 Aug 2004 08:33:41 +0530
From: Joy <joy {AT} sarai.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops

I find the series of posting very interesting.

I want I would like to say three things.

1. Why jobs are moving out of US? Is it due to cost of labour? Or due to 
cost of infrastructure? My observation is, till now I have seen cheap 
labour as a reason in all newspapers or magazine. If there is any other 
reason I don't know.

2. We can not equate salaries as Jeebesh has said. I think this gap is 
actually helpful for the managements to handle worker relations. It 
helps them to maintain low cost and relatively higher worker 
satisfaction than traditional workspaces.

3. An interesting news.

*Some US firms prefer cons to Indians*

USA Today
Ontario, July 8

Call centre employees in India, say hello to competition  from convicts
in US prisons. About a dozen US states  Oregon, Arizona, California and
Iowa, among others  have call centres in state and federal prisons,
underscoring a push to employ inmates in telemarketing jobs that might
otherwise go to low-wage countries such as India and the Philippines.

At least 2,000 inmates in the US work in call centres, and that number is
rising as companies seek cheap labour without incurring the wrath of
politicians and unions.

David Day is one of 85 inmates who arrange business meetings from a call
centre at the Snake River Correctional Institution, a state penitentiary.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity, says the 43-year-old.  He and his
cellmates wouldn't be making $200 a monthe from behind bars if not for
consulting firm Perry Johnson's aversion to moving jobs offshore.

"Prisons are prime candidates for low-skill jobs," says Sasha
Costanza-Chock, a University of Pennsylvania graduate who last year
completed a thesis on call centres at US prisons.

Market conditions seem to favour prisons. After declining for years,
call-centre jobs in the US increased several hundred, to about 360,000,
last year. At the same time, more white-collar jobs are going offshore
than researchers originally thought. About 830,000 US service-sector jobs,
from telemarketers to software engineers, will move abroad by the end of
2005, up 41per cent from previous predictions, says Forrester Research.

But the convicted workforce elicits as much dread as interest. Companies
flinch at the prospect of a public-relations backlash should news leak out
that they employ hardened criminals. Union representatives, meanwhile,
call the hiring of prisoners a flagrant violation of minimum-wage laws and
unfair competition to free workers.

Ironically, market conditions overseas could return call-centre jobs that
drifted offshore to the US, says Naren Patni, CEO of Patni Computer
Systems, India's sixth-largest software company and a pioneer in

"Costs and turnover for low-skill jobs will increase in India," Patni
says. "Who wants to be stuck in a telemarketing job, working odd hours to
fit the US time zones, if higher-paying jobs in product development come
over? That may force US companies to move call centres, maybe to jails."



Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 17:20:57 +0200
From: "porculus" <porculus {AT} wanadoo.fr>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops

> We should make an analysis of the term "minimum wage,"

& its purchasing power even in its tiny detail, in 1950's here -pyjama- were
not considered as necessary in its calculation for reproducing the worker

> we may
> want to consider the necessary level of waste built into the system
> (consumerism) or dependency (supermarket shopping vs. growing you own
> food) under capitalist structures.

yes i admit with you for this ridicoulous bed clothing, cause notice its
traditional vertical striped refer to or the nostalgic royal stripe or the
one for convict, both fit for bourgeois petty dream

> And should we then also attribute
> work not usually tied to capital in the support of this domesticity
> (care-giving, domestic maintenance, food production, etc. and other
> communal projects) that go uncalculated and may be culturally
> particular?

i agree with you twice : it's all about sex, et btw bravo for achiving to
eroticise such old administrative words since we already knew mathematicaly
n5 suffice for sleeping

> Family/domestic unit may also not be so narrowly defined cross
> culturally as well.

permit i add  plus 'culturally', ageing

> This is a problematic of power- The U.S. and Europe like the world's
> gated communities?

globaly US, europe as boring & laborious and also as dark as an hollywodian
scifi flick , the 'rest' is more young & cheerful, even china is more light
hearted & confident, hope plus rubens 'famous china artist' will soonly make
up with their own etchings, lusting for generous & rich blood is the gadient
& trope, sicence plus technique is just its grace note added to best
ornament, it's a lao tze


Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 11:18:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Morlock Elloi <morlockelloi {AT} yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops

> Secondly, what surprises me is the confidence with which exchange rate is
> used to generate analytical clarity.  A secretary (the top level

There is an obvious need for a different set of parameters and metric do define
cost of living and wage. Not that I expect it ever to become official, as it
will put western proles in a hallucination-shattering position.

These should include, in no particular order:

- - leisure hours during weekdays.
- - annual vacation time.
- - practical access to medical care.
- - practical access to quality food.
- - existance of social support network that can amortize wage loss.
- - existance of working retirement schemes (solitary confinement and
crematoriums do not count.)
- - access to affordable education (massive youth detention facilities do not
- - practical access to diversified information sources, entertainment and art
(in essence, the degree of absence of strong local brainwashing and
- - degrees of freedom in personal political, sexual and expression choices.
- - existance of diversified social networks (other than employment, purchased
entertainment or nuclear family units.)

In other words, how much 'wage' do you need to have these on everyday basis?

(of original message)

Y-a*h*o-o (yes, they scan for this) spam follows:

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net