Worker Organisation and Resistance

Fast food workers held a strike meeting, demanding a minimum wage, at London’s Leicester Square on Thursday 4th October 2018.

My long-term time passion has been understanding how workers can organise under contemporary capitalism and, in particular, how workers can resist injustice. Because of this, I am proud that I, along with my colleagues in the Industrial Relations Group at the University of Birmingham, have the privilege of stewarding BUIRA – the main organisation in the UK bringing together academics and practitioners interested in understanding the politics of work.

My main research in this area is currently focused on the gig economy but I am also, as part of a research network based around the shared tutelage of Willy Brown at Cambridge, currently working on a book ‘Towards a patchwork of rules? New institutional arrangements for worker protection’.

Current Collaborators

Vili Lehdonvirta Torsten Geelan Willy Brown Chris Wright Colm McLaughlin Barry Colfer Wei Huang Cheng Chang,

Selected Publications

Wood A.J (2020) Despotism on Demand: How Power Operates in the Flexible Workplace. Cornell
University Press: Iithaca NY.

Paperback $26.95 US: https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501748882/despotism-on-demand/#bookTabs=1

Ebook $12.99 https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501748899/despotism-on-demand/#bookTabs=1

Paperback £20.99 UK https://www.combinedacademic.co.uk/9781501748882/despotism-on-demand/

Wood A.J (2020) Going Beyond Mobilisation at McDonald’s: The Lessons of ‘OUR Walmart’ for UK Unions. Capital and Class. Non-paywall version

Wright C, Wood A.J, Trevor J, McLaughlin C, Huang W, Harney B, Geelan T, Colfer B, Chang C, Brown W (2019) Towards a new web of rules: An international review of institutional experimentations to strengthen labour standards. Employee Relations 41(2): 313-330.

Wood A.J, Lehdonvirta V, Graham M (2018) Workers of the Internet unite? Online freelancer organisation in six Asian and African countries. New Technology, Work and Employment 33(2): 95-112.

Pasquier V and Wood AJ (2018) The power of social media as a labour campaigning tool: lessons from OUR Walmart and the Fight for 15. European Trade Union Institute: European Economic, Employment and Social Policy Brief, 10: 1-6.

Wood A.J (2015) Networks of injustice and worker mobilisation at Walmart. Industrial Relations Journal 46(4): 259–274.

Wood A.J (2013) Organising the Future. A report for the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers (USDAW).

Book Reviews

Wood A.J. (2016) Worker Resistance and Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century. Work, Employment and Society. Accepted March 2016.

Working Papers

Colfer B, Wood A.J et al., (in development) ‘Towards a patchwork of rules? New institutional arrangements for worker protection’.

Wood A.J and Lehdonvirta V (2019) ‘Platform Labour and Structured Antagonism: Understanding the Origins of Protest in the Gig Economy‘ Presented at the Oxford Internet Institute Platform Economy Seminar, March 5th 2019, Oxford UK.

Wood A.J and Lehdonvirta V (work in progress) ‘Platform work and ‘communities of coping’: surviving algorithmic insecurity in the gig economy’

Wood A.J and Lehdonvirta V (work in progress) ‘Is the gig economy creating a precariat? Evidence from the global remote gig economy’

Wood A.J and Lehdonvirta V (work in progress) ‘Beyond online spaces: the creation of places of work
community by spatially fragmented gig workers’ 

Other writings

Wood A.J and Graham M (2018) Challenging exploitation in the gig economy. New Internationalist, 8 August.

Wood A.J (2018) Three lessons the labour movement must learn from the Fight for 15 at Walmart. Open Democracy, June 8.

Graham M and Wood A.J (2017) How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers. Red Pepper, 14 April.

Wood A.J (2017) Trade unions, the internet, and surviving the gig economy. Open Democracy, 11 April.

Graham M and Wood A.J (2016) Why the digital gig economy needs co-ops and unions. Open Democracy, 15 September.

Wood A.J (2013) Challenge to Walmart. New Internationalist, November.

Wood A.J (2013) Winning at Walmart. Red Pepper. Spring.

Wood A.J (2012) John Lewis cleaners celebrate victory. Red Pepper, August 16.

Wood A.J (2012) A New Dawn? John Lewis cleaners’ strike. Red Pepper, July 13