Oil and Labour: The Pivotal Position of Persian Oil in the First World War and the Question of Transnational Labour Dependency
Atabaki examines the conceptualization, articulation, and implementation of the Oil Company’s shifting labour policy against the background of greater global geopolitical shifts during the First World War. The chapter especially addresses the spatiality of labour recruitment in the Iranian oil industry and its dependency beyond the national frontiers. Indeed, precisely when the oil industry became eager to expand its production, especially skilled workers were reluctant to work at the site near the warfront and opted to desert from working for oil industry; simultaneously, the supply of local unskilled labour became scarce, and caused a major hurdle for the company. Atabaki additionally foregrounds the oil workers’ living and working conditions in wartime as well as their negotiation and resistance during the years immediately following the armistice.