This talk will present a general framework for the financialization-worker militancy nexus and empirical evidence on how private debt and financial markets have eroded labor power over the last decades. The discussion will analyze how the rising financial obligations of non-financial firms and workers have induced the intensification of attacks on unions and the right to strike, which is the driving force behind the deterioration of labor rights. In this context, the talk will challenge the relevance of conceptual frameworks that focus on the ‘Future of Work’, and argue that scholars, activists, and practitioners must center on the ‘Future of Workers’ instead. Particular emphasis will be put on the disciplinary effects of personal indebtedness that reflects broader systemic failures related to welfare state retrenchment (including the decline of free education, universal healthcare, and public transport, among others).
Relevant reading material: https://jacobin.com/2023/02/wage-earner-household-debt-strike-union-decline