Call Center Workers Fight for Good Jobs in the Digital Age
Author: Debbie J. Goldman
Deregulation and the transformation of a digital workplace
Cloth – $110
Paper – $27.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 08/20/2024
Cloth: 08/20/2024
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About the Book

Call center employees once blended skill and emotional intelligence to solve customer problems while the workplace itself encouraged camaraderie and job satisfaction. Ten years after telecom industry deregulation, management had isolated the largely female workforce in cubicles, imposed quotas to sell products, and installed surveillance systems that tracked every call and keystroke.

Debbie J. Goldman explores how call center employees and their union fought for good, humane jobs in the face of degraded working conditions and lowered wages. As the workforce coalesced to resist the changes, it demanded the Communications Workers of America (CWA) fight for safe and secure good-paying jobs. But trends in technology, capitalism, and corporate governance--combined with the decline of unions--narrowed the negotiating options for workers. Goldman describes how the actions of workers, management, and policymakers shaped the social impact of the new digital technologies and gave new form to the telecommunications industry in a time of momentous change.

Perceptive and nuanced, Disconnected tells an overlooked story of service workers in a time of change.

About the Author

Debbie J. Goldman is the former Research Director and Telecommunications Policy Director with the Communications Workers of America.



Disconnected is one of the most insightful accounts of corporate power, work, and unionism that I have read in years. Goldman’s research is meticulous, her judgments astute, and her prose crystal clear. She tells a story not of triumph but of resourcefulness and grit in an era of relentless corporate deregulation and technological change.”--Gary Gerstle, author of The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era