Dispossession is Nine-tenths of the Law: Right-to-work and the Making of the American Precariat

Source: Joseph Varga, Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 39 no. 1, March 2014
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From the abstract:
Anti-union right-to-work (RTW) laws are key tools in the reproduction of insecure or precarious workers. This article uses a comparison of the passage of RTW laws in Indiana in 1957 and 2012 to examine the process that sociologist Guy Standing and others have termed precariatization, the formation of a new type of insecure labor force. Through a comparison of the passage of the laws and the resistance of organized labor in both cases, the article charts the processes by which American workers in general, and Indiana workers in particular, have been dispossessed of rights in the workplace. This process of dispossession, along with the climate of neoliberal austerity, contributed to the inability of organized labor in Indiana to stop the implementation of an RTW law in 2012. By placing each set of events in the wider historical and national context, this article provides a framework for understanding the short- and long-term effects of dispossession in this key industrial state.