Recomposition interview with members of the Health Sector Workers Network in Aotearoa/New Zealand. They discuss attempting to build cross-workplace and cross-trade solidarity, the recent series of Junior Doctor’s strikes (the equivalent of residents in the US), and building workers resistance to health austerity.
The mood and discussions of late have largely been doom and gloom. Our series has tried to shine a light on some hope for workers resistance to counter the demobilize barrage of social and anti-social media. Our final piece in the Labor under Trump series comes from Ideas and Action the online publication of the Workers Solidarity Alliance. David Fernández-Barrial argues that there is an untapped potential within workplaces to defeat the threats looming, and take us closer to a just and equitable society.
Following the Trump victory speculation has been rampant and has led to various proclamations yet again of the death of labor. Our third piece exploring the potentials for labor under Trump comes from one of our editors S Nicholas Nappalos. He argues that while these dangers are real, they also come with new possibilities for a militant participatory workers movement. Moreover it is not apolitical unions that can address the weaknesses of the labor movement heading into a collision with this government, but an active politicized union movement marking its opposition to both capital and the state.
In our second installment in our Labor under Trump mini-series, Mark Brenner from Labor Notes explores what union members can do in the face of anticipated threats. At this point most of the debate is speculation, but the labor notes piece is worth discussing because they explore concrete experiences in areas where anti-labor policies have been implemented such as organizing in right-to-work states and solidarity with coworkers independent of their immigration status. Brenner paints a picture of a labor movement at a crossroads, a theme we will return to next week.
A piece from Daniel Cole who lives and works in Australia as a early childhood educator. His perspective shines light on what it’s like to do strenuous childcare work, and how managers and disconnected executives worsen the load by making ridiculous guidelines and demands, while pinning providers on a scale that doesn’t truly measure their experience and value. He aims to get other educators on board with imagining what it would be like to autonomously run childhood centers, and what can be done to organize in that direction.
Gabriel Kuhn is an anarchist activist living in Sweden and author of an impressive array of histories, translations, and collections published on anarchism, history of the left, and sports. His energy for writing is matched by a passion for soccer as a longtime fan and once professional athlete. We interviewed him about his experiences playing for a living, radical history, and controversies today.
The fourth installment of Recomposition's 'Politics on the Field' series comes from South Florida where Marcos Restrepo brings us to the world of youth sports. With the Super Bowl past us and all the attention the world plays to sports industries and media, it’s important to remember that where sports grows from in the innumerable fields and arenas where children learn and play. Restrepo presents a picture of these games a father and someone critical of what capitalism has done to a game that continues to capture the passion and imagination of millions.
In the third installment of our series “Politics on the Field” we bring the story of three IWW athletes. This piece of history is written by IWW Neil Parthun, a sports show host, who offers a glimpse into the lives and trajectories of the IWW members who played sports as a career, and ends with his reflections on labor in professional sports.
The second in our 'Politics on the Field' series featuring pieces about where sports, life, and politics intersect. The second contribution comes to us from Monica Kostas, who also has done the artwork for our series as well many Recomposition works. She describes soccer in the life of her hometown while giving background on the sport’s history and radical roots, and reflections on playing in a militant life.
A piece by John O’Reilly in Minnesota about his experiences working at a liquor store. Sports is often there in the background shaping our interactions, defining relationships, and reflecting the struggles and aspirations of workers. In Hat Trick O’Reilly reminds us of the role of sports setting out the divisions and unity in our lives.
In this essay, IWW organizer Coeur de Bord analyses the first year of organizing at a United Parcel Service hub in Minneapolis outside of the preexisting trade union structure. They show how even a small core of organizers can engage large numbers of workers and mobilize them around concrete demands.
In this piece Phinneas Gage recalls the challenges of organizing under punitive back to work legislation and the effect it had on shop floor organising. As tensions grow over a dispute about the safety of various parking arrangements around renovated facilities the shop again begins to mobilise. Then tragedy strikes and the workers are reminded that sometimes the cost of a partial victory can be as great as any defeat.
Necessary steps in tough economic times: New York students take to the streets in the wake of Occupy
A piece by Marianne LeNabat that takes us through an overview of how students in recent decades have become saddled with debt, how a student movement rose up in NY during the height of Occupy Wall Street, some of the lessons we can draw from organized resistance, and the ripples that student fights caused spreading solidarity throughout various sectors of society.