A much-needed, Marxist economic account of service and retail work, as well as the political alternatives.
In Service Workers in the Era of Monopoly Capital, Fabian van Onzen uses Marxist theory to analyse the process by which service and retail workers are exploited by the capitalist class. His analysis takes us through the primary concepts of Marxism—surplus-value, commodity form, etc.—and demonstrates their relevance for understanding the service industry. The book reveals that service and retail workers—shop employees, cleaners, hospitality workers—are integral to the capitalist system and have significant power to transform society if organised effectively.
Van Onzen argues that the key to ending the exploitation of service workers is through the socialist transformation of society. The book contains an examination of how service work could be organised under socialism and provides examples of how former socialist countries changed the nature of service labour.