1976: The fight for useful work at Lucas Aerospace

History of how arms company workers struggled against closure and for a change in their work from weapons manufacture to socially useful production.

In the 1970s workers at the Lucas Aerospace Company in Britain set out to defeat the bosses plans to axe jobs. They produced their own alternative "Corporate Plan" for the company's future. In doing so they attacked some of the underlying priorities of capitalism. Their proposals were radical, arguing for an end to the wasteful production of military goods and for people’s needs to be put before the owners’ profits. read more »

Fighting Plant Closure - Women in the Plessey Occupation 1982

A history of the occupation of the Plessey capacitor plant in 1982 after its closure was announced by 220 women workers.

The occupation of the Bathgate plant of Plessey Capacitors in 1982 provides an interesting example of collective action taken by a mainly female workforce against their multinational employer. This particular dispute has important implications both for the involvement of women in industrial action, and for the debate about the most effective strategies to counter the power of multinational corporations, particularly in the case of plant closure.

The material presented here is based on a series of interviews carried out in the period August to November 1983. read more »


The South London Women’s Hospital Occupation 1984-85

Some background on hospital occupations, which goes back to the late 1970s. In the early 1970s both the private and private sector was being restructured: partly in response to IMF directives, and in response to the relatively high wages and defenses (‘restrictive’ work practices that workers built up through the years. This ‘restructuring’ took the form of further centralisation, deskilling, redundancies, productivity deals, speed-ups, casualisation, tougher discipline. This is highly simplified — but we’ll leave it for the time being.

Since this restructuring often involved closures, people began occupying workplaces instead of simply going on strike. read more »

British factory occupations in the 1970s

General accounts

General accounts:

An account of the early phases of the post-UCS occupations in the UK from Workers Liberty, the second part does not seem to have appeared.

Read more on:

Specific occupations:

Upper Clyde Shipbuilders: read more »

Oh Sit Down!

Accounts of sitdown strikes and workplace occupations in the UK and around the world. Compiled by - a resource for discontented workers, 2008

Table of contents
2001: Brighton bin men's strike and occupation
2000: Cellatex chemical plant occupation, France
2007: Migrant workers' occupation wins, France
2004: Strike and occupation of IT workers at Schneider Electrics, France
2008: 23 day long occupation of major power-plant in northern Greece ends in police repression
1972: Under new management - Fisher-Bendix occupation
2003: Zanon factory occupation - interview with workers, Argentina read more »

The Occupation at Briant Colour Printing

Occupations in Britain in 1970s

Among the many occupations that took place in the early 1970s the occupation at Briant Colour Printing (BCP), a print shop situated on Old Kent Road in South London, stands out as one of the most prolonged and also one of the most successful ones. The occupation lasted more than a year, from 21 June 1972 until 3 July 1973.

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Geographical: Topic: 

Rosa Luxemburg and the Revolutionary Antiwar Mass Strikes in Germany during World War I

Since 1906 Rosa Luxemburg was the outstanding protagonist of the revolutionary mass strike idea in Germany. After having participated for some months in the First Russian Revolution of 1905/06 she published her important essay “Mass Strikes, Political Party and Trade Unions”.  Luxemburg recommended the mass strike as a mean of pressure for getting more democratic rights. read more »

Rosa Luxemburg’s Criticism of Lenin’s Ultra Centralistic Party Concept and of the Bolshevik Revolution

In 1922 a heated controversy on Rosa Luxemburg’s manuscript “The Russian Revolution” arose in the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and in the Communist International (KI). Paul Levi, a close friend of Rosa and since March 1919 leader of the KPD, criticised publicly the participation of the Central Committee in the March 1921 uprising in Middle Germany[1] and called it a putsch especially since some Russian advisors from the KI had urged the action. read more »

Rosa Luxemburg’s Concept of Basic Democratic Socialism

Every year in January between 50.000 and 100.000 people honour Rosa Luxemburg with a march to her grave at a cemetery in Berlin, Germany. In the last several years conferences on Rosa Luxemburg took place not only in Germany but also in other European countries like Finland, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, USA (1998 in Chicago where Bill Pelz organized the meeting) and even in China and recently in South America. read more »

Rosa at a Loss

The KPD Leadership and the Berlin Uprising of January 1919: Legend and Reality

In recent German historical writing, the protest movement of the Berlin workers against the Ebert­–Scheidemann government1 in the second week of January 1919 is no longer described as the ‘Spartakus Uprising’, and as a result the German Communist Party (KPD) is not now held solely or even mainly responsible for it.2 Yet the assert­ion still haunts historical works and the media that the uprising was a putsch that was fully supported by Rosa Luxemburg and the other Spartakus leaders, in opposition to the demo read more »

Theorists: Geographical: