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Labour flexibility is always a relation of class struggle Historically such flexibility has sometimes provided a bargaining weapon against capitalist work-discipline Since the 1980s however labour has been newly flexibilised to intensify its exploitation Often called casual labour or precarit this flexploitation imposes insecurity indignity and greater discipline Gray 1995 As a cutting edge of neoliberalism since the mid-1970s the British state disorganised and decomposed the industrial working class which had characterized the Fordist-Keynesian era It imposed that defeat by wielding several weapons -- eg decentralisation privatisation flexibilisation criminalisation etc Casual labour has become more common especially in privatised parts of the former public sector by using subcontractors or employment agencies Historically labour flexibility has sometimes provided a bargaining weapon against capitalist work-discipline Since the 1980s however labour was newly flexibilised to intensify its exploitation This flexploitation strategy seeks to impose a work-type discipline upon us all thus blurring the distinction between employed and unemployed people We are driven to work harder in a state of insecure quasi-employment often without wages In parallel the government promoted a great increase in home ownership resulting in a debt trap which intensified insecurity and further discouraged worker resistance According to the book Global Trends in Flexible Labour these developments have increasingly attracted the attention of economists sociologists and policy analysts Debate about non-standard employment initially gained prominence in the 1980s triggered by the idea of the so-called flexible firm Atkinson and Merger 1986 According to this model management divides workforce into core and peripheral groups- often regarded as equivalent groups - often regarded as enhanced levels of flexibility in hiring and firing numbers of hours worked job demarcations and worker remuneration The flexible firm was seen as associated with radical changes in the organisation of production including post-Fordism flattened managerial hierarchies team working and technological innovations The concept of the flexible firm came in for substantial criticism eg Pollert 1988a 1988b and 1991 not at lease because
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