A baby sardine
Saw his first submarine
And cried as he looked through the peephole
‘Oh come, come, come’, said the sardine’s mum
It’s only a tin full of people
Spike Milligan, 1968.
The container is simultaneously both one of the most concrete examples of the economic logic that enables global capitalism to function and one of the most potent metaphors for the social life of the population whose choices are shaped by this economic logic.
Labour struggles in the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) are dominated by tactics of controlling the limit between normal hours and overtime as well as occupying and bringing the port to a standstill. The division of labour along gender lines is a direct product of the composition of labour subjectivities that emerged in the docks in the long hours of paid overtime and striking. It may seem that dock work is stereotypically normalised as masculine only because in the past it required strong hands, but most of all it is the ability to work without having family or domestic care responsibilities that determine the gendered division of labour in the Port.