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The Big Rig

Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

Steve Viscelli

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University of California Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik

Beschreibung

Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States.  

The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

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Schlagwörter

working class history, long haul trucking, trucking industry, driving a big rig, semi drivers, history of trucking industry, labor, exploitive labor of the working class, freight drivers, organized trucking, trucking, trucking labor markets, contemporary labor markets and long haul trucking, working class discourse, cdl, union truck drivers, deregulation of trucking industry, cdl truckers, owner operator trucking, over the road trucking