From dispossessed factory workers to “micro-entrepreneurs”: the precariousness of employment in Trinidad’s garment sector

Prentice, Rebecca (2018) From dispossessed factory workers to “micro-entrepreneurs”: the precariousness of employment in Trinidad’s garment sector. In: Hann, Chris and Parry, Jonathan (eds.) Industrial Labor on the Margins of Capitalism: Precarity, Class and the Neoliberal Subject. Berghahn, New York, pp. 289-308. ISBN 9781785336782 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Ever since recession and trade liberalisation led to the demise of Caribbean garment production in the 1990s, Trinidadian garment workers have seen job opportunities shrink and increasingly enter a casualised, informal sector. This chapter explores the devolution of garment work from factories to workshops and workers’ homes in relation to state-led policies to combat unemployment and poverty through microenterprise development. The chapter argues first, that microenterprise development has had a depoliticising effect on labour struggle; second, that a felicitous discourse of enterprise culture presents the rewards of self-employment as superior to wage employment; and third, that the transformation of factory workers into home-based micro-entrepreneurs succeeds by concealing women’s uncompensated domestic labour. By drawing attention to the neglected relationship between global post-Fordism and state promotion of microenterprise, I show how they are mutually reinforcing in ways that obscure labour politics.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Rebecca Prentice
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 09:34
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 10:17
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71566

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