How to fight exploitation effectively in the 21st century?

Zuzanna Kowalik (Instrat, SGH), Agnieszka Mróz (Worker’s Initiative), moderator: Przemysław Wielgosz (LMD-PL)

Henryka Bochniarz once said that one day there would be no more full-time jobs. What contributes to this promise – echoed by numerous experts, politicians and journalists – are, allegedly, subsequent crises and the necessity to adapt which they impose, technological revolutions, robotisation and globalisation of production processes. These are indisputable facts. But does it mean that we will fall prey to automation, and those who manage to keep their jobs must reconcile with the future designed for them by Uber and other gig economy corporations? Must the notion of workers’ rights and trade union subjectivity irrevocably become a thing of the past? Or perhaps the fashionable disguise of technological and historical necessity hides the old demon of the class rule?

Contrary to the dystopia of Henryka Bochniarz, we don’t have to agree to the ostensible inevitability of precarisation, puperisation and depoliticisation. Where capitalism today imposes new forms of subjugation of work and exploitation, innovative methods of workforce self-organisation and new strategies of resistance emerge. Class conflict in global supply chains intensifies and even today it effectively challenges all axioms of the prophets of robotised, platform-based, global dictatorship of capitalism.