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It’s a Big Brother Type Thing: Technology, the Labour Process & the Logistics Sector in the UK

January 23 @ 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm


""‘It’s a Big Brother Type Thing’: Technology, the Labour Process & the Logistics Sector in the UK, featuring Drs. Kirsty Newsome and Chima Anyadike-Danes (Centre for Decent Work, The University of Sheffield, UK).


Drs. Newsome and Anyadike-Danes will present their research on the impact of technology on the labour process for e-commerce  workers in the UK.  Specifically, they will report on interviews with employers, union officials as well as both directly employed and ‘self-employed’ parcel delivery workers.  This talk sheds new light on  the impact of technology on the labour process and on the contractual status of workers along with analyzing how technology monitors not only the movement of products, but also the management of labour. The talk will conclude with a discussion on the ways workers and trade unions can resist the degradation of work in this sector.

Dr. Kirsty Newsome is Professor of Employment Relations and Associate Dean Research at the Sheffield University Management School.  She currently is Co-I on the ESRC funded Productivity Insights Network (PIN) and leads the theme on ‘Work and Employment’. The PIN is a multi-disciplinary network of social science researchers engaged with public, private, and third sector partners with an aim of changing the tone of debates on the ‘productivity puzzle’. Her wider research interests are concerned with exploring the dynamic interplay of global labour regimes and the labour process with a focus on work and employment in distribution and logistics. In recent year her research has also been exploring the shifts and transformations in the politics of production and the nature of work with an emphasis on workplace insecurity and growth of non-standard forms of work.

Dr. Chima Michael Anyadike-Danes is a socio-cultural anthropologist employed by Sheffield University’s Centre for Decent Work (CDW) as a Research Associate. At CDW Chima is collaborating with Professor Kirsty Newsome on a multi-sited qualitative research project entitled “The impact of technology on logistics workers: A comparative study.” This investigation is motivated by two concurrently emergent phenomena: logistics labour’s growing significance for contemporary life and the discourses on annihilation that increasingly feature in public discussions on automation and work. Strongly influenced by phenomenology his current research focuses on the various ways’ workers, trade unionists, roboticists, programmers, robots, A.I., and management are both shaped by and shape warehouse spaces and warehouse work as part of the labour process in California and South Yorkshire. 

This event was made possible thanks to the CLA Scholarly Intersections grant program and The California Faculty Association (CFA), Long Beach Chapter.


January 23
2:30 pm - 3:45 pm


Anatol Center (AS-119)
United States