2015-Beverly Geesin

Organised resistance to precarity: the case of small scale commercial fishermen

Dr Beverly Geesin, York St John University

Project summary: This project will investigate the working lives of commercial fishermen on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, USA. The study will examine the increasingly precarious nature of the labour within this industry and the ways in which workers have used forms of collective action in an attempt to address the issues of precarity within the declining industry. In particular, this work will use the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association and their efforts to preserve the industry on this small island as a case study. The case study research will include an examination of the nature of the labour, the regulation of the labour and the industry by state and national governmental organisations, and the organisation and forms of collective action taken by the labour force. A multi-methods approach will be used in this case study encompassing both interviews with members of the relevant trade organisations and a document analysis focusing on the relevant regulatory and legal issues. This work will shed light on the working lives of agricultural workers, generally excluded from the organisation studies literature. This case study is the third in a series of case studies on precarious labour and alternative forms of collective action.