ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Net Work

The global growth in internet-based labour activism augurs well for a new social and political paradigm built around the digital space for negotiation and bargaining.

Of late, trade unions and labour activists have been quick to latch onto new technology-based communication and advocacy, particularly via the internet and mobile phone-based GPRS services. One of the first incidents of internet-based labour activism reported from India dates to 2010 and involves Viva Global, an outsourcing unit of the major British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer, whose workers rose up in arms to protest against non-payment of the prescribed minimum wages and the burden of long working hours. During that time, numerous blogs, websites and social media updates reported on the issue with near-daily regularity.

Globally, among the first few popular internet-based campaigns of activism was the “Carnival Against Capital” which started on 18 June 1999 when labour activists, environmentalists, feminists and anarchists demonstrated around the world against the policies and prescriptions of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Solidarity was sought to be built around “social justice” and an “anti-neoliberal agenda”.

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