Changing workplace geographies: Restructuring warehouse employment in the Oslo region

In this article, Anders Underthun, Kristina Zampoukos and David Jordhus-Lier examine the changing employment relations in Norwegian warehouses, and conceptualises the increasing use of temporary agency workers as a redrawing of workplace geographies.

 

Abstract

The article examines changing employment relations in Norwegian warehouses, and conceptualises the increasing use of temporary agency workers as a redrawing of workplace geographies. The empirical basis for the analysis is four qualitative warehouse workplace studies, including focus group and interview data. The theoretical framework of the article combines an adapted version of the territory-place-scale-network (TPSN) framework developed by Bob Jessop, Neil Brenner and Martin Jones with the concepts of labour control and labour agency.

The analysis shows how a networked recruitment system based on Swedish labour migrants, mediated via temporary work agencies, encourage workers to work their way through levels of employment insecurity in order to secure permanent employment. The article argues that the blurring and redrawing of legal boundaries through labour hire can be understood as a territorial strategy of control that affects the workplace as a scale of justice for trade unions.

Moreover, the analysis shows how managerial control is conditioned by workers’ individual, habitual and collective agency.

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Published Aug. 24, 2018 10:44 AM - Last modified Aug. 24, 2018 10:44 AM