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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Industrializing For Workers; Models from Italy and Spain

  • Author(s): Kountz, F. Steven
  • et al.

The career prospects for industrial workers in North America and Western Europe, once the mainstay of an affluent middle class, have become highly uncertain, if not bleak. The burdens of economic risk and uncertainty faced by mass producers with declining profits and productivity have been substantially passed off onto workers and the communities where they live. Sufficient profit margins are maintained by staff-gutting layoffs in the name of streamlining and plant reloca­ tions to areas where manipulable, non-unionized labor will work for lower wages. Bluestone and Harrison estimate that deindustrialization in the 1970s eliminated 32 million U.S. jobs.

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