Tens of thousands of workers are currently employed in factories in the Baia Mare area. Most factories are greenfield projects, while old industrial sites in Baia Mare have been abandoned. Most employees working in furniture, mattresses, clothing and footwear producing factories receive a minimum wage for full-time work. The young and “disciplined” employees manage to supplement their minimum wage by working overtime or doing additional shifts, depending on the employer’s needs. Some resort to seasonal work abroad in order to ensure their families’ survival. The factories in question are a precarious link within the capitalist circuit, operating as outsourced factories for large Western companies – the largest by production volume and number of employees being Ikea. The experience of managers and workers in these factories shows how factories and employees alike are in an extremely vulnerable and volatile position. Their bargaining power is minimal, while constant concessions are essential for survival.
In this three-part interview, conducted, transcribed and edited by Zoltán Ginelli, history professor James Mark talks about his latest book James Mark is a British Professor of History at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on the history and memory politics of state-socialism in East Central Europe from the perspective of broader global histories, […]
This article first appeared on the blog of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia Compared During the last 30 years migration levels have risen sharply. This change is associated with the opening up of national markets by global capital. The affinity between the mobility of capital and the movement […]
This interview exploring Madlen Nikolova, Jana Tsoneva and Georgi Medarov’s recent research on subcontracting, inequality and worker resistance in Bulgaria was originally published on the website of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Most people probably associate outsourcing and subcontracting, whereby a company pays another company (usually in a country where wages and labour standards are significantly […]
Note from the LeftEast editors: Our comrades from the Serbian Left-wing portal MAŠINA spoke to Marxist political economist Leo Panitch (York University) during his stay in Belgrade. There he was a guest at the conference The Return of Utopia (BCS), organized by the Center for Political Emancipation. This is the first appearance of the interview in English. Its original […]