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Reindustrialization, Labor, and Precariousness in Romania: A Case Study of Factories in Baia Mare

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.

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Marxist anthropology in a world of surplus population: Reflections on a Frontlines of Value workshop

Note from LeftEast editors: this is a reprint article which was originally published on January 26 2022 at FocaalBlog. The article is linked to a research workshop “Rethinking Surplus Populations: Theory From the Peripheries” that was held at Bergen University in December. 13-14 December 2021, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Frontlines of Value […]

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Czech Rohlík Couriers: Fatigue, Traffic Accidents, and Constant Surveillance

The Czech Rohlík company, which specializes in the delivery of fresh baked goods, is expanding to Austria and Germany, where it is making massive investments. Nevertheless, they are tough on workers at home. [This piece was originally published by A2larm.cz and was translated by Ian Mikyska. The article is part of the regional collaborative publishing […]

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Non-capitalist Mixed Economies: What Would Labor Be Like in a Socialist Society?

LeftEast was a co-sponsor of an online conference on non-capitalist mixed economies from June 23–26 2021.  Co-sponsors of the conference included the Karl Polanyi Center, Eszmélet Journal, Social Theory College in Budapest, Polanyi Institute, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, Institute of Political History Social Theory Research Group, The Study Group on Global Labour History and Social […]

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(Post)pandemic struggles in social reproduction: intersectional alliances between housing and essential workers’ struggles in Romania

Note of the LeftEast editors: The present text, which we co-publish together with TSS is part of a series of publications and webinars on the topics of social reproduction, (women’s) labour and migration in East-Central Europe and beyond. The video from the second webinar (Post)pandemic struggles on social reproduction, where this text was first presented can […]

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Cartographies of Baltic labour resistance

Note from LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared on Andreas Bieler’s blog: Trade unions and global restructuring . The conjuncture between the thirtieth anniversaries of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the USSR is an apt occasion to revisit the trajectories of change in the post-Soviet space. In their article ‘Baltic […]

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We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organize? By 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, I had already moved out of the UK after living there for 10 years. Perhaps it would be […]

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We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism – Matan Kaminer

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organize? The consistent left in Israel is mostly made up of Palestinian citizens, organized in the Communist Party and its front group Hadash/al-Jabhah, the liberal-nationalist Balad/Tajama’u (who both form part […]

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We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism: Sorin Gog

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organise? In the Central and Eastern European region, Romania stands out as one of the countries that has adopted some of the most radical neo-liberal reforms in the past three […]

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We Asked on the Legacy of Corbynism: Mariya Ivancheva

What has the Corbyn project meant – as a model, an inspiration, or otherwise – to you and people in the milieu(x) in which you organize? What was at stake with this project was in equal measure painfully distant and painfully close to the contexts I am immersed in, and to an extent represent. In […]