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Issue 534 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

November-December 2021

Shifting horizons: the future of work

Workers have been getting increasingly squeezed, with year-on-year declines in the labour share of profits and bargaining power. The great worldwide jolt of the Covid-19 pandemic revealed the fault-lines and brought calls for a better deal. Now, as business-as-usual resumes with a vengeance, the need to imagine and create fairer, more dignified futures for workers becomes more urgent. This edition explores the threats and the possibilities. The age-old, ongoing struggles for unity, better working conditions and greater autonomy remain vitally important. But more radical questions also need raising. Such as, do we really need to work quite as much, when we can provide comfortably for the needs of all? And whether chasing full employment is any good for a planet pushed to its ecological limits.


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Launched in May 2020, the worker-members of ChiFresh Kitchen have been busy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic cooking up healthy, culturally appropriate food for their Chicago community. As well as providing emergency food aid, the co-op – which employs formerly incarcerated people – is also contracted to provide food for schools and social centres and makes several hundred meals a day. Credit: KAI BROWN

The democratic workplace

In co-operatives, employees can take control of the business. Amy Hall explores the possibilities and challenges.
Read my facemask: a woman at a  rally of essential workers in Detroit, Michigan,  US, October 2020.  EMILY ELCONIN/REUTERS/ALAMY

The fight for lives and labour

Black women in the US do the socially important work, often unnamed and unrecognized, that is essential to the profit of an...
Photo Credit: Jen Zoon, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Do zoos cause more harm than good?

Do zoos represent pointless captivity or an opportunity for conservation and education? Linda Kimotho and Oluwaseun S Iyasere...
Cueca dancers celebrate the indigenous Aymara  culture of the Andes – but in modern garb – as a  carnaval parade gets under way in Arica, Chile. JEFFREY ISAAC GREENBERG 20+/ALAMY

Living well

Richard Swift on why we need to stop chasing the dream of full employment and focus on what really matters instead. 
Economic migrants from rural areas at work on a construction site in Nairobi, Kenya. Such jobs are usually temporary, sometimes just a day’s labour. NATURE PICTURE LIBRARY/ALAMY

The squeeze on workers

To ensure a fairer future we will need to tackle business as usual, says Dinyar Godrej.

The alternative book review

Jo Lateu, Peter Whittaker, Vanessa Baird weigh up recent releases in radical publishing.

‘Our whole truth will come out’

Roxana Olivera reports on the indigenous women who could make legal history by holding a Canadian mining company to account for...

Lloyd’s of London’s debt

What would be the cost of reparations for the transatlantic slave trade and ongoing support of fossil fuels? Sahar Shah and...

The alternative music review

Malcolm Lewis and Louise Gray review the latest releases by Justin Adams and Mauro Durante and Bareto.
Photo: Kenglorhy_studios

Spotlight: DJ Switch

DJ Switch, a 13-year-old campaigner for children’s rights and all-round powerhouse, talks with Subi Shah.
Catching up with the Trolley Times, Ghaziabad, India, April 2021. The fourpage weekly newspaper, printed in Gurmukhi and Hindi, was founded in December 2020 to give voice to the farmers’ protest. SOPA IMAGES LIMITED/ALAMY

Holding out for the harvest

Narendra Modi has announced his intention to repeal the contentious agriculture laws unwaveringly resisted by India's farmers...

‘My friend thinks Covid-19 is a hoax. What should I do?’

Ethical and political dilemmas abound these days. Seems like we’re all in need of a New Internationalist perspective. Enter...

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