Labour Process

The Social Innovations of Autogestión in Argentina’s Worker-Recuperated Enterprises: Cooperatively Reorganizing Productive Life in Hard Times

Argentina’s  worker-recuperated enterprises emerged out of the unraveling of the country’s neoliberal experiment circa 1997. With traditional union tactics proving incapable of addressing workers’ immediate needs, some workers took matters into their own hands by occupying and reopening their bankrupted or failing firms as workers’ cooperatives under the auspices of autogestión (self-management).

Art and Immaterial Labour: Metamorphoses

To begin with, let us try, from a materialist standpoint, to situate historically the concept of plastic and figurative art in other words, the definition of its historically determinate link, if there is one, to the development and structure of modes of production. Can this be done? Obviously, once we're obliged to speak of art and immaterial labour, this is a useful thing to do; read more »

When the Workers Become the Owners: Taking the Co-op Movement to the Next Level

There's a revolution taking place in the US workforce - but you may not have heard about it.

Around the country, workers are starting businesses that they democratically control and that financially benefit them. These businesses, called worker cooperatives, are owned and governed by the employees. Every worker is a member of the co-op, which gives them one share and one vote in the company's operations. read more »

A Deeper Look at the Mondragon Principles 3: The Instrumental and Subordinate Nature of Capital

“We do not aspire to economic development as an end, but as a means.”

–Don José María Arizmendiarrieta, spiritual founder of Mondragon read more »

A Deeper Look at the Mondragon Principles 1: Sovereignty of Labor

The Mondragon principle “Sovereignty of Labor” created departure from the cooperative movement. While the Rochdale Pioneers had good intentions, they abandoned worker cooperation in the 1870’s. The Fabian Socialist moved even further from the ideals of Robert Owen declaring consumerism as the lowest common denominator for human relationships eschewing workers as merely another stakeholder group. Even the French cooperativist Charles Gide turned away from worker associations. read more »

A Deeper Look at the Mondragon Principles 2: Participatory Management

The next principle from Mondragon is that of Participatory Management. This seems like a no-brainer for worker co-operatives. What is the point of going through all the work of setting up a worker co-op if the workers don’t actually have a say in how the place is run? They would be better off in a unionized Employee Stock Ownership Program. read more »

Inside America's Largest Worker-Run Business

Fifteen years ago, Clara Calvo had just left her husband and her job. Both were abusive in their own ways. Her husband beat her, while her job at a beauty salon required long, unpredictable hours for little pay. read more »

Platform Cooperativism vs. the Sharing Economy

The backlash against unethical labor practices in the “collaborative sharing economy” has been overplayed. Recently, mainstream media started to rail against online labor brokerages like Taskrabbit and Uber because of an utter lack of concern for their workers. 

But just for one moment imagine that the algorithmic heart of any of these citadels of anti-unionism could be cloned and brought back to life under a different ownership model, with fair working conditions, as a humane alternative to the free market model. read more »

Heart of the Factory / Corazón de Fábrica

In a poor country looted by its own governments and businessmen, the workers of Zanon Ceramic take the factory in their own hands when the owner closes it. They start to produce ceramics again, but without bosses. Now, they feel free. They’ve found in their work a way to grow humanly. But at the same time, they have to assume a series of responsibilities and challenges. Usually, this provokes serious arguments among them or with themselves. During that process, the workers had to study and to overcome themselves in order to solve all the problems linked to the areas of production. Through the democratic assembly, they found a way to support their organisation and learn how to take their own decisions in the management. 

read more »

The Causes of Alienation

 

Alienation results from a certain form of organisation of society. More concretely, only in a society which is based on commodity production and only under the specific economic and social circumstances of a market economy, can the objects which we project out of us when we produce acquire a socially oppressive existence oftheir own and be integrated in an economic and social mechanism which becomes oppressive and exploitative of human beings.

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