1960-2000: Workers' Control against Capitalist Restructuring

1976: The fight for useful work at Lucas Aerospace

In the 1970s workers at the Lucas Aerospace Company in Britain set out to defeat the bosses plans to axe jobs. They produced their own alternative "Corporate Plan" for the company's future. In doing so they attacked some of the underlying priorities of capitalism. Their proposals were radical, arguing for an end to the wasteful production of military goods and for people’s needs to be put before the owners’ profits. read more »

Workers’ Control in the UK

Within the ‘first industrial nation’, which also established the first industrial proletariat, we might trace the workers’ control tradition back to Luddite resistance to mechanisation and de-skilling of established trades around the turn of the 19th century.  Formally demands for workers’ control, both for control within and over the means of production, were raised from the early twentieth century. These initially came with the influence of syndicalist ideas in the emergence of ‘new unionism’ and came to a head with the ‘shop stewards movement’ amongst skilled engineering and shipbuilding workers around the end of wartime production.  A rather more reformist version of workers’ control, ‘guild socialism’ remained significant politically into the 1920s, builders co-operatives or ‘guilds’ being involved in the post-war house-building boom.  read more »

The South London Women’s Hospital Occupation 1984-85

Some background on hospital occupations, which goes back to the late 1970s. In the early 1970s both the private and private sector was being restructured: partly in response to IMF directives, and in response to the relatively high wages and defenses (‘restrictive’ work practices that workers built up through the years. This ‘restructuring’ took the form of further centralisation, deskilling, redundancies, productivity deals, speed-ups, casualisation, tougher discipline. This is highly simplified — but we’ll leave it for the time being.

Since this restructuring often involved closures, people began occupying workplaces instead of simply going on strike. read more »

British factory occupations in the 1970s

General accounts:

An account of the early phases of the post-UCS occupations in the UK from Workers Liberty, the second part does not seem to have appeared.

Read more on:

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2009/07/20/british-factory-occupations-1970s

Specific occupations:

Upper Clyde Shipbuilders: read more »

The Sangham Strategy: Lessons for a Cooperative Mode of Production

Dalit women farmers in the district of Medak, Andhra Pradesh, India formed a mutual aid credit cooperative (MACC) in the early 1990s with the support of a development NGO, the Deccan Development Society (DDS). In India, mutual aid credit cooperatives come out of a new wave of reform that emerged within the Indian cooperative movement as transnational financial institutions began to gain control of microfinance banking. read more »

Oh Sit Down!

Accounts of sitdown strikes and workplace occupations in the UK and around the world. Compiled by libcom.org - a resource for discontented workers, 2008

Table of contents
2001: Brighton bin men's strike and occupation
2000: Cellatex chemical plant occupation, France
2007: Migrant workers' occupation wins, France
2004: Strike and occupation of IT workers at Schneider Electrics, France
2008: 23 day long occupation of major power-plant in northern Greece ends in police repression
1972: Under new management - Fisher-Bendix occupation
2003: Zanon factory occupation - interview with workers, Argentina read more »

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