Europe

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.


A call for support of the struggle of VIOME

Dear solidarity supporters, we invite you to stand beside us, to support every effort of the workers to make the forces of production autonomous from the capitalist class, a class which anyway has delocalised all production abroad. We invite you to support the operation of the factory, since we, the workers, have declared that we are not leaving, that our lives are now linked to this factory. read more »

Workers Control: The Czechoslovak Experience

The discussion about workers' control or the general extension of industrial democracy raises for most socialists some fundamental problems of power in society; but not, it should be noted, for some of the more recent advocates of the idea. When Anthony Wedgwood Benn, for example, came forward last year with his contribution he was quite explicit in his view that "real workers' control" would fit comfortably within the existing relations of power : read more »

Jugoslavias's crossroads

Socialists all over the world have shown increasing interest in the workings of the Jugoslav economy in recent years. The discrediting of Stalinism and a growing appreciation of the economic and political problems of the bureaucratic State have focused attention on the techniques of decentralization that the Jugoslavs have been practising since the break with the Soviet Union in 1948. Today the Jugoslav "model" arouses envy in many parts of Eastern Europe as well as alarm in China. read more »

Take back the factory: worker control in the current crisis

During the first decade of the current century, factory occupations and production under workers’ control seemed to be limited mainly to South America, with a few exceptions in Asia. It was beyond the imagination of most workers and scholars in industrialized countries that workers would or could occupy their companies and run them on their own. Nevertheless, the crisis that started in 2008 put workers’ control back on the agenda in the northern hemisphere. In the course of the current crisis, factory occupations occurred throughout Europe, especially in France, Italy and Spain, but also in other countries, including Switzerland and Germany, and in the US and Canada. read more »

Workers' control at Fralib: the brand with the Elephant

In France there are two cases of recuperated factories occupied by workers during the current crisis. One is the Pilpa Ice Cream Factory, which just started producing organic ice cream and yoghurt as a worker-owned and administered company after a long-lasting struggle. The other is the Fralib Tea Factory. Both were closed by their huge multinational owners to relocate production. read more »

Workers' "Caravan of Struggle and Solidarity" to Athens

Workers’ movements and their supporters from throughout Greece have embarked on a caravan to speak with, and demand from, the new SYRIZA government. They are asking for concrete support for their struggles, each of which is based on self-organization and horizontality. Saturday April 4th marked the first day of a caravan, which will travel to various towns throughout Greece, meeting with and gathering other workers in struggle in each location, who will then all make their way to Athens. read more »

Occupy, Resist, Produce - RiMaflow

In February 2013 former Maflow workers occupied the plant, together with precarious workers and workers from a nearby factory, which had been shut down after fraudulent bankruptcy. The 20 workers participating full time in the project completely reinvented themselves and the factory. They started recycling computers and electronic household devices, opened a bar and cafeteria, organize a flea market and cultural activities with the community, and have built alliances with local organic agricultural producers and together they have created a group for solidarity shopping. They plan to transform the factory into a plant for industrial recycling. read more »

Worker Management of the Barcelona Public Transit System, 1936-1939

In the years leading up to the revolution in Spain in 1936 there had been bitter struggles of the workers...such as the long but defeated streetcar strike in 1935. A number of leading activists in that strike were sent to prison. With the victory of the liberals and social-democrats in Spain's national elections in February 1936, imprisoned unionists were freed, and the workers on the Barcelona transit system began rebuilding their union, which was to play an important role in the city during the revolutionary events of 1936. read more »

Industrial collectivisation during the Spanish revolution

Although it was in the countryside where the most far-reaching anarchist socialisation took place, the revolution took place in the cities and the towns too. At that time in Spain almost 2 million out of a total population of 24 million worked in industry, 70% of which was concentrated in one area - Catalonia. There, within hours of the fascist assault, workers had seized control of 3000 enterprises. This included all public transportation services, shipping, electric and power companies, gas and water works, engineering and automobile assembly plants, mines, cement works, textile mills and paper factories, electrical and chemical concerns, glass bottle factories and perfumeries, food processing plants and breweries.  read more »