Trade Unionism

The Way Forward to Workers' Control

The whole question of workers' control is once again becoming an important issue in the British Labour Movement. In some ways, the situation today is analogous to that before the First World War. Expansion of Industry, coupled with inflation, in the years up to 1914, provided the basis for aggressive union action and the growth of ideas concerning workers' control, culminating in a historic pamphlet, the 'Miners Next Step'. It provided the impetus for the growth of the Shop Steward Movement, which arose during the war years itself. read more »

On cyber syndicalism: From Hacktivism to Workers’ Control

Alternative globalization movements in the global North, from their high point in the Quebec City mobilizations against the Free Trade Area of the Americas in 2001 to the present, have been faced with the challenge of rebuilding and finding new ground on which to re-mobilize since the political reaction set in following the 9/11 attacks which derailed momentum and caused many mainstream elements (especially labor unions) to disengage and demobilize (where not playing to the forces of “law and order” reaction). read more »

Why Unions Are Going Into the Co-op Business

“Too often we have seen Wall Street hollow out companies by draining their cash and assets and hollow out communities by shedding jobs and shuttering plants,” said United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard in 2009. “We need a new business model that invests in workers and invests in communities.”

Gerard was announcing a formal partnership between his 1.2-million-member union and Mondragon, a cluster of cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain. read more »

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 »

The ambiguities of workers’ control

‘What do you mean by workers’ control? is a question to press on anyone now raising the slogan. Those who seek to answer this question will discover to their amazement that none of these pundits proposes a clear and unambiguous definition. Some of the usual answers are listed below. We have grouped the ans­wers under three-main headings. read more »

OCCUPY, RESIST AND POSE FOR THE CAMERA

Nationalisations, bailouts, economic stimulus... much has been written about these and other recent events by the corporate media in the Global North and this so-called new wave of “socialism.” Fortunately many have responded that these events are all about saving a failing neoliberal model as opposed to building any alternative. read more »

The Grunwick Strike 1976-78

The struggle at Grunwick Photo Processing in London was a sharp industrial struggle initiated by female imigrant workers. Beginning in the summer of 1976 the women workers (mostly from Asia) protested against the racist discrimination articulated in bad payment, miserable working conditions and cruel treatment by the management. read more »

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