Europe

We want to build a workshop with our communion and solidarity!

On the 31 January 2013 our boss, the Somuncu family, put us on the doorstep. We felt helpless. We were 94 labourers, our 4 months’ salary, seniority and termination was confiscated with fraud by Somuncu family. Some of us just went home, some found new jobs. Our boss had fled with the machines, yarns and the sweaters we had made. They left us with nothing except scrap. We were without a trade-union. Earlier attempts to be union members were suppressed by the pressure of the boss.
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Victory for the Fralib Workers. A New Chapter Begins.

After a three and a half year battle, an agreement has been signed between Unilever and the Fralib employees. This agreement provides for a 20 million euro financial contribution from Unilever for damages caused by the decision to close the tea and herbal infusion factory. The tea and herbal infusions cooperative can be set up and quality production on the site can restart.
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Vio.Me: workers' control in the Greek crisis

Just one among thousands of Greek companies that succumbed to the deep recession brought about by the austerity measures imposed by a series of governments, the construction materials manufacturer Vio.Me was abandoned by its owners in May 2011. Forty of its workers, organized horizontally in a militant primary workers’ union, occupied the factory, located in the outskirts of Thessaloniki, to prevent the employers from taking away the machinery before paying the workers the nearly €1.5 million owed in salaries and compensations. 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 »

Workers of self-managed factories meet in Marseille for the “Workers' Economy” international meeting

Fralib is a herb processing and packaging factory located 20-odd kilometres away from the southern French port city of Marseille. The previous owner of the factory, chemical and agri-food giant Unilever, decided 3 years ago to move production of Lipton tea abroad to save on labour costs. The 80 workers, through protest and boycott campaigns, have demanded that the factory stays open and, after this proved impossible, they decided to take production into their own hands. 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 »

International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy”

Friday, January 31 and Saturday February 1, 2014
International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy”
First Regional Gathering of Europe and the Mediterranean
Held in the worker-occupied Factory Fralib
Gemenos, Bocas del Ródano, France

Organizers: Organizing committee of the “International Gathering of the Workers’ Economy”; Programa Facultad Abierta, University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). With the collaboration of ASPAS (Association of Solidarity with South America of Provence).
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After factory shutdown, Italian workers ‘recycle’ jobs

A group of Italian factory workers who lost their jobs at an auto component maker due to the recession, have taken over their disused factory near Milan and are planning to set up a recycling business as they struggle for dignity.
“We were considered rejects in society and we recycled ourselves,” said Gigi Malabarba, an unemployed man who has joined the initiative. read more »

When Workers Takeover: From Redundancy to Ri-Maflow

Have you heard the story about the Italian workers who took over the bankrupt company that previously employed them and started a new cooperative, all while doing something for the environment? read more »