ABSTRACT

This is a book about the political economy of call center work and trade unionism. Research began in 2006 as recognition of India’s role as the world’s digital back offi ce was gaining momentum in Canada and the United States. By the time fi eld research commenced in 2007, interviews with industry representatives, call center workers, and trade unionists were full of apprehension about the looming economic crisis. Near the end of 2008, there was fear in India among the benefactors of information technology (IT) globalization that Barack Obama’s imminent presidential victory might signal tough times for high-tech industries dependent on off shoring business from the United States. In Canada, call centers that provided services for American companies and consumers were beginning to see the eff ects of the country’s rising currency exchange rate as labor costs were losing their competitive edge. And, because of the pace at which information technology enabled employment globalizes, the Philippines surpassed India as the leading off shore destination for call center work around 2010 as this study began to come to a close (Macaraig 2010). Much has transpired over the past ten years.