Blogs

Strike at world's largest sports shoe maker in Dongguan, China

Yue Yuan strike, April 23, 2014

A strike against Yue Yuan International, world's large manufacturer of sport shoes, began on April 14, 2014. It now includes 60,000 workers at all seven factories in the Dongguan complex. Yue Yuan makes one-fifth of the world's athletic shoes, including brands like Nike, Crocs, Adidas, Reebok. Puma, Asics, New Balance, Timberland and Rockport.

The strike at Hong Kong-headquartered Yue Yuan Industrial Holdings Limited (its parent company is the Taiwanese-owned Pou Chen Group; until 2009 Yue Yuan was one of the bluechip stocks in the Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange), the largest athletic shoes manufacturer in the world, has spread over 10 days and now includes over 60,000 workers.

Après moi le déluge! Fossil fuel abolitionism and the carbon bubble - part 2

A worker cleans an oil spill from an abandoned Shell well in Oloibiri, Nigeria

In part two of this two-part article, we look at the parallels between fossil-fuel abolitionism and the abolition of slavery in the 19th century United States.

Part one of this article, looking at the 'carbon bubble' and path-dependent development is here.

Abolitionism in the 19th century US

Narrow-minded? Bologna’s PD council tries to evict Atlantide social centre

Update on the situation of the Atlantide social centre in Bologna, which has been there for over 15 years and has been under threat from eviction by the local council for over a year.

Atlantide is a social centre in the Santo Stefano neighbourhood in the heart of Bologna’s old town. More precisely, it is situated in the cassero, an historic building which forms part of the city’s medieval gates. Atlantide was occupied in 1997 and for over 15 years it has been home to a number of LGBT, feminist and punk music collectives.

A sideways look: Bob Crow

Bob Crow

A look at the recently deceased union leader, Bob Crow.

I was as shocked as many at the untimely death of Bob Crow at the age of 52 a few weeks ago. That is a very young age and will be a big loss to his family. Crow was very much a “character” who relished his role as RMT General Secretary and was happy to play up to media stereotypes.

Après moi le déluge! Fossil fuel abolitionism and the carbon bubble - part 1

Image: carbontracker.org

In part one of this two-part article, we look at the so-called ‘carbon bubble’ – assets priced based on 'unburnable' fossil fuels.

The 'carbon bubble' and path dependency

The nervousness of politics

A brief look at Plan C/ the Institute for Precarious Consciousness's recent theses on anxiety. The claim that anxiety is the hegemonic affect of late capitalism is explored a little. If you don't have time to read this, go and read the theses anyway.

Go and read Plan C's We are all very anxious.

This post could have just said that.

But once I start writing I have problems stopping.

I'm an anxious man. Even when I write.

Rhythms

A screenshot from the dance film "Korper" by choreographer Sasha Waltz.

Part of the series on the society of stimulation, this post introduces the idea of rhythms as theoretical machines and political tools of capital and workers.

In his inaugeral lecture at the Collège de France, published as How to live together, Roland Barthes goes into great detail on the subject of rhythms in order to answer the question of community.

Bank of Greece hit by car bomb

A large car bomb exploded outside a Bank of Greece branch this morning in central Athens. Whilst damage was caused to the building there were no injuries. No claim of responsibility has yet been made.

As the Greek government prepares to re-enter the financial markets on Thursday a bomb exploded in central Athens in the early morning. Security forces have closed off the area but photos show significant damage to the exterior of the building with the façade and windows broken.

AngryWorkersWorld - Spring/Summer Wanderings 2014

Short introduction to our spring/summer wandering around the UK - Hope to see somewhere...

AngryWorkersWorld - Wandering Spring/Summer 2014

Dear Friends and Comrades,

We've got itchy feet and we'd like to spend a weekend in your town/city sometime this spring/summer!

The idea would be to link up with other like-minded groups and individuals so that we can:

Industrial unity: a response to “Locality & shop”

[i]We received a number of replies and great discussion from the piece by S Nappalos on the IWW’s locality versus industrial structures. E.A. Martinez has sent a lengthy response raising points of criticism and agreement that is worth engaging. While the discussion centers around structures of the IWW, bigger issues are at hand.

Workers' struggles in East Asia (March 2014)

Students opposed to a trade deal with China occupy the Taiwanese parliament

Summary and links to news stories of workers' struggles around East Asia during March 2014 and related resources. The most important stories appear on my Twitter feed as soon as I find them: http://twitter.com/spartacusnews.

This month there has been news from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, North Korea, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The most important stories:

Leadership and the myth of apathy

Why aren't we rising up? Whether the 'we' in question is young people, the British people, or the poor, this is a question asked an awful lot by both mainstream and leftist commentators. Austerity, job cuts, pay freezes, workfare, poverty, food banks, police brutality, political corruption - it's all the rage, so why aren't we all enraged?

There are two standard answers on the left: apathy and the lack of leadership. Either people are too engrossed in their own little world of X Factor, I'm a Celebrity and 'I'm alright Jack,' or they just don't have the right hero to lead them into battle. The left wing rabble rousers of the past are dead and gone and we need people to replace them and rally the workers.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its latest report

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report came out on Monday. This post includes some background on the IPCC, and discussion of the report.

The IPCC - background and history

The NHS pay freeze and the end of Agenda for Change

NHS Logo

This article looks at these changes and the ways in which successive years of 0% or 1% pay rises in the NHS have undermined the national Agenda for Change pay structure, paving the way for localised and potentially privatised pay agreements.

The recent announcement by the government of a pay freeze pay for NHS workers in England and Wales earning below the top of their pay band was the latest attempt to ‘get tough’ on public sector workers.

Nothing in common: unions as bosses

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary.

Some cursory thoughts on the contradictions created by trade unions, as the collective voice of organised workers, also being employers.

On the 26 March, when the National Union of Teachers was taking strike action, members of the GMB were also out on strike. The reason that this action received less attention, particularly from trade union sources, is that it represented a rather unusual situation.

Toyota workers in India continue strike

Strike Toyota Kirloskar factory India

A strike by Indian workers at a Toyota Kirloskar auto factory near Bangalore bear a striking resemblance to the strike of Honda workers in Foshan, China in the spring of 2010 that set off a strike wave in Guangdong of auto workers at other companies (like Toyota), as well as electronics and even brewery workers. Confirming Beverly Silver's research on patterns of labor unrest, there have already been militant strikes at automakers Hyundai, Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Maruti Suzuki in India.

News story from March 27, 2014

Roads to nowhere: capital's plan A (in Australia)

An analysis of capital's attempt to build a way out of the end of the mining boom via massive infrastructure construction

Australia will be quite different in a few years’ time…
-Tony Abbott(2013)

The tendency is a general schema that takes as its starting point an analysis of the elements that make up a given historical situations. On the basis of that analysis, it defines a method, an orientation, a direction for mass political action (Negri, 2005, p. 27)

Tension in Greek prisons

Amidst deteriorating conditions and harsher regulations anger boiled over this week as a prison guard and prisoner were killed in Malandrino prison.

Tensions are running high in the Greek prison system at the moment after the death of a prison guard and the prisoner who killed him.

Italy: Renzi government reforms jobs and cuts rights

Giuliano Poletti.

At first glance, Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour and Social Policy in the Renzi government, could look like an old-fashioned left-wing politician: born into a farming family in the “red” Emilia-Romagna region, raised in the Communist Party, president of Legacoop, the main national organisation of cooperatives. He could be someone to provide a contrast to the Prime Minister’s attitude towards jobs (modelled on the inspiring figures of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair). But appearances can be deceptive.

In Italy the cooperative system is one of the main forces – together with Confindustria representing employers – pushing for even more deregulation of jobs.

Hong Kong dockers strike -- US speaking tour

HK dockers tour

In the spring of 2013, a 40 day strike by 500 dockworkers at the Hong Kong Port aroused massive support in Hong Kong society and throughout the world. The target was one of the world's richest and most powerful men - oligarch Li Kai-shing.

The Hong Kong dockworkers, suffering years of frozen wages and inhumane conditions, divided by a subcontracting system meant to deflect labor unity, with no legal access to collective bargaining, in heart of the global capital's leading city...