1960-2000: Workers' Control against Capitalist Restructuring

Socialism and the transformation of work

Socialism will only be brought about by the autonomous action of the majority of the population. Socialist society is nothing other than the self-organization of this autonomy. Socialism both presupposes this autonomy, and helps to develop it. read more »

The Story of the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Alternative Corporate Plan

This film, "The Story of the Lucas Aerospace Shop Stewards Alternative Corporate Plan" was made in 1978 for the Open University. It documents an unusual episode in British corporate history. Shop stewards from Lucas Aerospace, facing massive redundancies, developed their own plan to safeguard their jobs by moving the business into alternative technologies that would meet social needs, as well as new methods of production.


On Workers' Democracy

Workers democracy has always been a basic tenet of the proletarian movement. It was a tradition in the socialist and communist movement to firmly support this principle in the time of Marx and Engels as well as Lenin and Trotsky. It took the Stalinist dictatorship in the USSR to shake this tradition. The temporary victory of fascism in West and Central Europe also helped to undermine it. However, the origins of this challenge to workers democracy are deeper and older; they lie in the bureaucratization of the large workers organizations. read more »

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital Work-in

In 1976, after a long period of neglect by the health authorities, the Department of Health in the UK announced that the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Hospital - a hospital for women in central London, where women were treated by women staff - would be closed. read more »

Letter from Ernest Mandel to Ken Coates (September 1969)

This important letter from Ernest Mandel to Ken Coates addresses two seperate questions. Firstly Coates, along with Tony Topham and other activists in the Institute for Workers Control (IWC), were working with the Shop Stewards Action Committee at GEC/EE in Liverpool planning an occupation to resist redundancies at the plant. The letter offers some observations by Mandel on the issues involved in occupation, the potential for continuing manufacture, as well as running 'an iscolated plant under workers' control'. read more »

The Lucas Plan

In 1976, facing rationalisation and redundancies, shop stewards at Lucas Aerospace approached the Tony Benn then Secretary of State for Industry in the UK Labour Government to discuss their future in the context of Labour’s plans for the nationalisation of the aerospace industry.  Benn, a high profile supporter of the Institute for Workers’ Control, suggested to the Lucas Shop Steward Combine Committee that they produce their own business plan. read more »

Autoworkers Under the Gun: An Interview With Gregg Shotwell, UAW Activist and Author

The sit-down strike by General Motors workers in the winter of 1936-37 was one of the galvanizing events in U.S. labor history. Similarly, the efforts of the primarily African-American autoworkers of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement and the other RUM’s sparked the resurgence of rank and file militancy in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. In more recent years, the New Directions caucus and Soldiers of Solidarity carried on the radical tradition in the United Automobile Workers. read more »

The Grunwick Strike 1976-78

The struggle at Grunwick Photo Processing in London was a sharp industrial struggle initiated by female imigrant workers. Beginning in the summer of 1976 the women workers (mostly from Asia) protested against the racist discrimination articulated in bad payment, miserable working conditions and cruel treatment by the management. read more »

Review of 'Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present'

Ours to Master and to Own is a compilation of articles offering a historical and global overview of workers’ efforts to gain control over their workplaces, the economy, and governance. It is wonderfully organized in both a chronological and thematic logic, from the nineteenth century through the early twenty-first century, while also moving from a general historical overview toward more specific explanations of how worker democracy was implemented and fought in read more »

Putting “Isms” in Their Place: A Review Essay - Mike Miller - socialpolicy

"The Roman arena was technically a level playing field. But on one side were the lions with all the weapons, and on the other the Christians with all the blood. That's not a level playing field. That's a slaughter. And so is putting people into the economy without equipping them with capital, while equipping a tiny handful of people with hundreds and thousands of times more than they can use." (Louis Kelso in A World of Ideas, by Bill Moyers; Doubleday, 1990)
read more »

Syndicate content