Nothing to loose by the supply chain

This newsletter includes three transportation and supply chain related EU and US reports that highlight the complexities of democratic citizen activism in the context of changing and complex politics.

Firstly we publish the history of the twenty year old “No TAV movement” struggle in Italy that failed the recent go-ahead for a high-speed rail link between Lyon and Turin. The cornerstone of the Treno Alta Velocita (TAV) project is the construction of a 57km-long rail tunnel through the Alps from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne on the French side to Susa, in Italy. Its cost has been estimated at €8.5 billion with Italy (€2.9 billion) and France (€2.2 billion) set to contribute 60% to its funding. The project still hinges on obtaining EU money for the remaining 40%.  Information on the proposed EU rail link can be accessed at:   The Open Democracy article can be accessed at:

The second item is a US article entitled “Dignity and the Professionalised Body:Truck Driving in the Age of Instant Gratification”.  The report concludes that  drivers have higher rates of on-the-job fatal injury than almost any other American worker, and that they also are at higher risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and sleep disorder than virtually any other occupation. These “lifestyle risk factors,” as studies of driver health call them, result from a forced choice between the needs of the body and the needs of freight that drivers negotiate every day. Their professional attitude toward this choice provides the foundation upon which our retail stores can be replenished, our produce can be kept fresh, and our internet orders can gratify us when and where we want them.  This Hedgehog Review article can be accessed at:

The third and final piece in the newsletter is entitled “Nothing To Lose but the Supply Chain”  and reports on the US Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving in the US which is marked by retail sales) Walmart strikes which it claims marked a milestone for twenty-first century labor organizing. This is not only because they targeted the world’s largest private employer, with its entirely non-unionized workforce of 1.4 million, but because they demonstrated that such a decentralized and fragmented workforce could engage in a new kind of collective action. With the help of social media,Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) mounted a nationwide campaign that de-emphasized the traditional union in favor of a more free-form organization. The report concludes: “The intricacy of the twenty-first century supply chain presents many challenges for organized labor, but its interconnectedness may offer workers at strategic points a kind of power that they are only just beginning to harness”.  This article, published in Dissent magazine can be accessed at: