Changing places and faces of work colloquium

Leading international researchers joined departmental staff and research students in exploring the dynamics of contemporary state and corporate employment restructuring in Europe, Brazil, India and Mexico and the implications for work security, outsourcing and migration at the 'Changing Places and Faces of Work' international colloquium, hosted at Strathclyde Business School's Department of Human Resource Management on June 16.

Since 2012 the Department of Human Resource Management has been co-ordinating the EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network 'Changing Employment'. It recently extended its research and institutional links into Latin America with a two year initiative, 'Changing Employment and Transnational Migration in an era of Globalised Commodity Chains'. In this subsequent, transdisciplinary event the paradoxes, contradictions and workers' perceptions of new forms of labour were discussed in relation to emerging economies that are increasingly shaping the world of work in Brazil and India. Professor Luis Cardoso of the Federal University of Fluminense presented time-series data on the financialisation of work in the oil industry of Brazil where a significant 'reprimaryisation' –the formalising of previously outsourced work -has taken place, while outsourcing continues along the commodity chain. The experiences and perceptions by managers and staff practising Business Process Outsourcing in India in the wake of the 2008 Economic Crisis was then presented by Chandrima Roy, a PhD student in the Department of HRM.

Marie Curie Research Fellow, Olena Fedyuk, introduced the afternoon session on the 'Emerging issues from new border crossings' that heard Daniela Sime, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, present, 'The life experiences of children of Eastern European migrant workers in Scotland' and outline the policy implications of their accounts. This was followed by a candid account by Francis Virginio, University of Charles de Gaulle Lille and KU Leuven, of the 'structural violence' experienced by Central American migrants detained in Mexico. Migrants' experiences point to multiple levels of dispossession and commodification along their journey and challenge mainstream and western discourses on migration and the linked role of state and non-state actors. Newly appointed Chancellor's Fellow, Kendra Briken led the discussion that pointed towards several key areas for potential collaboration, and co-ordinator of the Marie Curie Programme, Professor Paul Stewart, closed what was an intriguing colloquium.

The Department's Marie Curie students are preparing to attend a winter school research training in Wroclaw, Poland, while Brian Garvey, Research Fellow for the Latin American Changing Employment and Transnational Migration in an era of Globalised Commodity Chains, travels to Brazilian institutions in Sao Paulo and Goias State to formalise collaborative research on employment, migration and new commodity chains for energy.