What happens to a company town
when that company is sold?
In his company towns
and camps, Osgood used various degrees of coercion, and hired strikebreakers.
After introductory material and a historical overview, the main part of the book is dedicated to case studies of particular company towns
in Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia--and Maryland, USA and Canada, as well.
While his analysis suggests a neat dichotomy between the two company towns
, one must question the sometimes single-minded focus on class conflict as the primary signifier of class.
Rather than viewing company towns
as relics of the past, Green also notes the concept survives at facilities today, such as the one Google operates near The Dalles, Oregon.
The Bates company mill was shut down 36 years ago and the town eventually disappeared, as company towns
usually do when the jobs go away.
Changes like these are essential if every country does not want to return to company towns
like Longhua, China, or Hershey, Pennsylvania.
She then relates how the company towns
evolved, similar to other company-created settlements in the United States and elsewhere, to become "union towns.
Coat miners seeking union rights were fired by their employers and kicked out of company towns
that gouged them by forcing them to use company scrip.
Once upon a time, social activists decried the plight of workers in company towns
whose paychecks vanished each week because they were being gouged by the local stores.
The fundamental problem is private ownership of human communities--digital company towns
where the owner has absolute power, and the entire history of due process and personal rights in human society does not apply.
Moreover, these industrial pursuits, which in the case of aluminum and mining relied almost exclusively on men, dramatically affected gender relations, as women sought out new ways to maintain subsistence patterns even while living in company towns