Europe

Unions and councils

The proletarian organization which assembles, as the total expression of the worker and peasant mass, in the central offices of the Confederazione del Lavoro, is passing through a constitutional crisis similar in nature to the crisis in which the democratic parliamentary state vainly debates. The solution of one will be the solution of the other, since, resolving the problem of the will of power in the case of their class organization, the workers will arrive at the creation of the organic scaffolding of their state and they will counterpose it victoriously to the parliamentary state. read more »

'Social ownership for the 21st century'

The publication of Social ownership for the 21st century by the Labour Representation Committee on behalf of the Left Economics Advisory Panel is a significant development.  For the first time in nearly three decades an important section of the labour movement is at last developing a discussion on the questions of forms of social ownership, workers’ control and workers’ self-management.  The Tragedy of read more »

The struggle for self-management

Dear comrades,

It is remarkable how few socialists seem to recognize the connection between the structure of their own organization and the type of ‘socialist’ society it might help bring about. read more »

Britain: New Wave of Factory Occupations

A rash of workplace occupations is spreading across the globe as workers defy the brutal consequences of the recession. Instead of surrendering to mass redundancies and outright closures, workers are occupying their workplaces as a central method of struggling for justice.

Every example that wins concessions is boosting the belief of other workforces that there is an alternative – militant class action can win at least something.

VICTORY TO VESTAS read more »

Workers’ Control

Before we examine the configuration of the draft bill presented by Hon. Giolitti to the Chamber of Deputies, or the possibilities which it opens up, it is essential to establish the viewpoint from which the communists approach discussion of the problem. read more »

1918-1921: The Italian factory occupations and Biennio Rosso

After the First World War, Europe’s working class went on a massive radicalisation process. Union membership exploded with strikes, demonstrations and uprisings increasing with it. Italy was no exception. Its workers were angry with the fall-out from the war and were getting increasingly militant. A perfect example of this can be found in the factory occupations of 1920.

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The Italian Factory Occupations of 1920

During the month of September, 1920, a widespread occupation of Italian factories by their workforces took place, which originated in the auto factories, steel mills and machine tool plants of the metal sector but spread out into many other industries — cotton mills and hosiery firms, lignite mines, tire factories, breweries and distilleries, and steamships and warehouses in the port towns. But this was not a sit-down strike; the workers continued production with their own in-plant organization. read more »

A Factory Occupation in May 1968

Now that everything is back to “normal,” it may not seem very interesting to recall the very different sort of normality that briefly prevailed at the end of last spring. Moreover, what happened at this particular factory (Jeumont-Schneider) was not all that different from what was happening elsewhere, which everyone is already familiar with. Nevertheless, looking into the tarnished mirror of the past may help us to better understand ourselves. read more »

Recuperating Work and Life

As the economic crisis deepens and governments—instead of providing support—respond with more austerity, people throughout the world are not only resisting but increasingly creating their own solutions in multiple spheres of life. Work is an especially difficult area around which to organize if the government refuses to aid the unemployed or underemployed, and yet it is also one where some of the most innovative solutions are arising. read more »

Crisis and workers' control: Speech at the Athens Biennale 2015-2017

Dario Azzellini is an assistant professor for sociology at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

He has published several books, essays and documentaries. His latest books are 'An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy' (Zed Books 2015) and together with Marina Sitrin 'They Can’t Represent Us. Reinventing Democracy From Greece to Occupy' (Verso 2014). read more »