international day of action in solidarity with general transport workers association (asf iwa) on september 15

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With Sober Senses's picture
With Sober Senses
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Sep 17 2012 13:37
akai wrote:
Hi. Comrades from Russia made a report and it is translated in English here: http://www.zsp.net.pl/dominos_action_day_report.

In that report it claims

Quote:
In response to the inaction of the SDA, the drivers formed the General Trasport Workers Association (GTWA, connected to the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation) and actively coordinates the struggle to reinstate the salaries on the national level. Other employees of the firm joined the ASF's branch union seeing that the other union functioning in Dominos is concilliatory and does nothing to improve the situation of the drivers.

I am not sure that is true is it? The ASF formed the GTWA and then tried to recruit workers to it. I don't know how successful that has been.
All my information is second hand, hence I have been asking a lot of questions about clarifying some points that are at best unclear.

Martin O Neill
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Sep 17 2012 14:21

From GTWA:

Solidarity Action on September 15

Аustralia. Pickets and solidarity meetings with the drivers are organized in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.

Аrgentina. The Society of Resistance of FORA in Rosario translated and distributed the appeal of the Australian comrades.

Great Britain. The Solidarity Federation called for people to send solidarity protests through the firms page on...
Australian Facebook and on September 17 to flood the Australian office with protest faxes and letters of protest, so as to paralyze the company's communications for a while. SF organized protests in front of restaurants in London, Manchester, Leeds, Brighton, Bitterne Southhampton and other places. (Article) In Bristol, an Australian woman approached the picketers and thanked them for solidarity with Australian workers. She promised to inform about the action on local radio in Melbourne when she returned home. In New Cross members of South London SolFed delivered a protest letter to Dominos Pizza and spoke with the drivers there; the area was posted with leaflets and stickers supported the Brisbane drivers. A picket in Sheffield in front of Dominos was organized by the Industrial Workers of the World.

Brazil. The Brazilian Workers Confederation (COB) organized solidarity actions in Sao Paolo and Porto Alegre.

Germany. Members of the Free Workers' Union (FAU) picketed Dominos restaurants in Bonn, Cologne and Langenfeld. They gave leaflets to the workers, passersby and residents which explained the basics of the labour conflict in the firm. On a placard in Cologne was written "19% wage cut in Dominos! Today Brisbane, tomorrow Cologne? (Article)

Spain. There were different solidarity actions with the drivers of Dominos organized by members of the CNT-AIT in different cities. In Cornellia and Premia (Barcelona) there were pickets held in front of the restaurants. In Gijon, a banner was hung on one restaurant and different graffiti against the company was made.

In Salamanca, members of the CNT (from the CNT union in Telepizza) informed workers about the campaign and called on workers in the branch to follow the example of the Australian colleagues, chosing the path of self-organization (Article). In Elche there was a picket in front of Dominos Pizza which lasted about one hour. The participants gave out leaflets and brochures to passersby, customers and workers and they put up some posters. (Article)

Canada. А protest against Dominos was held in Vancouver.

Netherlands. The Amsterdam group of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Union made a picket in front of Dominos. The participants explained the situation to pizza delivers and they expressed sympathy with their Australian colleagues. One of them openly expressed solidarity with them. (Article)

New Zealand. А protest against Dominos took place in Auckland. It was organized by activists from „Action against Poverty” and Auckland anarchists and supporters. Another action took place in the capital in Wellington.

Norway. Аctivists from the Norweigan Syndicalist Federation distributed leaflets at a Dominos in Oslo.

Poland. Members of the Union of Syndicalists, Poland visited the office of the company in Warsaw on September 14 and delivered a protest. On September 15, then hung banners on the restaurant on al. Jerozolimskie, which drew the attention of many passersby. They gave out leaflets explaining the struggle of the drivers from Dominos Pizza in Australia and about the situation of workers in the food service industry in Poland. The police and manager of the restaurant showed up. He made photographs of the picket to send in to the head office and tried to make an impression by offering the protesters pizza.
(Article)

Russia. For the international solidarity day, stickers were put up at the entrance of a Dominos restaurant reading „September 15, international day of solidarity with drivers from Dominos Pizza in Brisbane. Shame on the company that lowered wages by 19%! No to exploitation! International Workers Association". Leaflets with a similar text were left on cars, including the ones for delivering pizza.

Slovakia. Since it that country there are no Dominis, Priama akcia sent letters of protest to the company.

USA. Solidarity actions took place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Long Beacg, Cleveland, Providence, Tampa, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Minniapolis/ St. Pail and other cities. The organizer of most of them was the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and local activists. In Missoula (Montana) there was a picket in front of Dominos organized by the Workers Solidarity Alliance and the Zootown Solidarity Network.

France. French anarcho-syndicalists held pickets in front of Dominos in Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, Toulouse and other places. Leaflets were distributed in 4 restaurants in the Paris region (in Nanterre, Besonne, Sartrouville and Enghien-les-Bains) entitled "Why the pizza delivers get only pennies” and they spoke with the workers. In Tolouse about 200 leaflets were given out in front of a Dominos restaurant and they spoke with the workers. (Article) . In Caen there was a picket and leaflets were given to residents, customers and passersby. An administrator came out and demanded an explanation and declared that the situation in Australia does not concern him and that he would inform the management of the company in France. (Article)

Activists of the union of retail and services of SUD delivered a protest letter to Dominos on Boulevard Saint-Marcel 40 in the center of Paris.

Translated from the website of KRAS-IWA: aitrus.info

(Information in this article based on news sent Sept. 15-16)

wojtek
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Sep 17 2012 14:32

http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=manchester/dominos-solidarity-in-manchester

syndicalist
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Sep 17 2012 20:19

Respectfully, while the IWW banner flew in most of the places you mentioned, WSA members we active in these campaigns in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Long Beacg, Providence (with Common Struggle). Ann Arbor it was the Lansing Workers Center who carried the day. WSA was key and instrumental in kicking off the north american campaign and are happy that IWW Foodworkers took up the cause quickly and decisively.

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With Sober Senses
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Sep 17 2012 22:58

Hi All considering the time and effort that comrades around the world have put into this, I think it would be appropriate for comrades in the ASF and GTWA to clarify what I consider to be some important questions: what is the actual level of participation and self-activity of Domino's workers in this campaign and has the pay cut been instituted in a uniform way or on a franchise by franchise basis? The first question is more important than the second.
The only real report we have received was from comrades in Wollongong and it makes sober reading.
I think that there has become an increasing gap between the representation of what is happening and what is really going on. For example did the 'solidarity meetings' actually happen - or were drivers just leafleted?
cheers
Dave

redsdisease
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Sep 18 2012 01:38
grumpy cat wrote:
Hi All considering the time and effort that comrades around the world have put into this, I think it would be appropriate for comrades in the ASF and GTWA to clarify what I consider to be some important questions: what is the actual level of participation and self-activity of Domino's workers in this campaign and has the pay cut been instituted in a uniform way or on a franchise by franchise basis? The first question is more important than the second.
The only real report we have received was from comrades in Wollongong and it makes sober reading.
I think that there has become an increasing gap between the representation of what is happening and what is really going on. For example did the 'solidarity meetings' actually happen - or were drivers just leafleted?
cheers
Dave

All of your posts seem to indicate that you don't believe the ASF has members who are Domino's drivers. Since they have been claiming from the beginning that this campaign has been initiated and directed by Domino's drivers, do you have any information claiming otherwise? If you do it would be great of you to let people know, since, as you said, folks have put in a lot time and effort supporting this struggle. If you don't, then I don't understand why you keep making these suggestions.

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With Sober Senses
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Sep 18 2012 01:56
Quote:
If you don't, then I don't understand why you keep making these suggestions.

Hi Redsdisease. I have chosen to use this tone because things in Brisbane are pretty acrimonious and I wanted to give the comrades in the ASF a chance to clarify what is going on. I have written to an ASF comrade to this end. My understanding ( and lets be clear I have not attended the pickets and everything I know is from comrades who have) is that whilst some drivers may be members of the ASF this campaign has had minimal input by drivers themselves, beyond some passive expressions of support. My understanding is that there has been little on the job activity by drivers as part of the GTWA ( who knows what these drivers are doing themselves everyday in other forms).

I think that the ASF comrades will probably want to argue against this, and I think they should. But at the moment the representation of what is going on and the reality seems far apart.
cheers
Dave

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Sep 18 2012 06:42

To be overt then, I'll repost a comment a made at slackbastard

Quote:
I have heard a number of different stories.
There is the promoted version which sees the GTWA arising out of the self-activity of the workers themselves and these are the people driving the campaign.
There is what I have been told by a comrade in the ASF which acknowledges that there are different levels of activity and passivity in the campaign but is generally positive about it all.
There is what I have been told by comrades in the BSN (Brisbane Solidarity Network) which says that it is non-driver comrades in the ASF that are the real force in this campaign and whilst some drivers may support these efforts they are very passive.
There are the photos of the pickets in Brisbane which (apart from the 1st one) seem to be made up of two people (and a third holding a camera).
cheers
Dave

akai
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Sep 18 2012 06:43

To US comrades:

Hi, I translated the article based on information compiled by other comrades in another country. No offence or wrong information is intended and if you send me privately the correct info, or more info, I can make sure it gets in an updated report.

There should be a little reflection on why confusion can be caused. Probably this is because there were announcements on IWW pages and IWW flags and the comrades made that assumption. Besides this, we are working with reports that we received. Last comment, I understand (from some other comrades) that a lot of information is shared on FB, but it not used by everybody, for example not by myself and not by the comrades who compiled the info.

Anyway, just PM me or post info here. I am sure ASF appreciated all the effort and is busy gathering the missing info.

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Sep 18 2012 11:17

@grumpycat

You are clearly trying to imply that the ASF has misrepresented the situation with regard to the struggle of the Domino's Pizza delivery drivers to international organisations on no other basis than hearsay.

You also quote a post on slackbastard as if it were someone else, is that not you?

You quote as a source (name withheld) from the BSN and you allude to acrimony. Do you not know that the delegate of the Brisbane IWW (who posts on this list as 'happyanarchy') viciously assaulted the Secretary of the ASF causing him to be hospitalised with a punctured lung?

This is the same BSN that accepts this vicious thug as a member and has made no statement whatever regarding this appalling incident.

Why post these questions on this list, in the first instance, instead of directing your enquiry to either the Secretary of the GTWA or ASF Brisbane if not to imply that the ASF has acted dishonestly?

Who are you to sit in judgement of the ASF?

I am a member of ASF Melbourne. Having seen your post which clearly indicates you are in Brisbane, I contacted the Secretary of the ASF asking about your identity and were informed that you are self-described 'autonomous Marxist', is that a fair description? It would certainly explain the use of the term 'self-activity' (a term that is never employed in reference to the support of Palestine amongst other things). I think you ought nail your colours to the mast rather than pass yourself off as an impartial observer.

I first heard of the 19% cut of Domino's Pizza delivery drivers wages by DPE manage at an ASF Melbourne meeting in April. It was explained that a member of ASF Brisbane who was a delivery driver had brought this to the attention of a duly constituted meeting of ASF Brisbane and that meeting decided that they would support their member in a struggle to have the wages restored. ASF Brisbane asked ASF Melbourne to support them - agreed to unanamously. Subsequently, there was a great deal of communication between the two affiliates with regard to developing a campaign strategy. An 'international day of action' was discussed amongst many other things. New information was uncovered on an almost daily basis and it was decided to do two things; seek to terminate the SDA-brokered EBA by application to the FWA office and conduct weekly pickets at as many Domino's Pizza outlets in Australia as we could organise.

[SDA = Shop, Distributive and Allied workers union led by well-known right-wing faction ALP power-broker and catholic zealot, Joe De Bruin, google him]

[EBA = Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, a legally binding agreement between employers and employees governing wages and conditions]

[FWA = Fair Work Australia, replacing the old Arbitration Commision originally established by the federal government in 1907? to regulate labour relations]

Pray tell, Mr. Grumpy Cat, what would you have the ASF do at this particular point?

Subsequently, more delivery drivers joined the ASF Brisbane. Enough to satisfy the requirements for a new affiliate based on common industry in accordance with the Statutes of the ASF (see asf-iwa.org.au) leading to the establishment of the GTWA in July.

Again, I ask, what would you have us do?

If you have proof of 'untruthfulness' of the ASF, then put it.

To engage in innuendo without basis only serves the interests of the other side. Anyone with any industrial combat experience would know this.

To imply that the ASF has misled the IWA is to imply that we would abuse the trust of the IWA (and the WSA whose help the ASF also sought), that is a gross slander.

Earlier this year, the IWA asked for solidarity action in support of the ZSP against Roche Pharmaceuticals. I cannot imagine questioning the integrity of the ZSP. Without trust you have nothing. To abuse trust is an offence, the gravity of which could only be matched by treacherous dealings with the enemy.

The response of the IWA Secretariat and the IWA affiliates, the WSA and through their relations with IWW in North America and the UK and other groups has been nothing short of fantastic and amazing and was swift as it was massive.

It demonstrates the total sense of one big global revolutionary union based on anarcho-syndicalist principles to workers everywhere.

It's embarrassing I know, but I freely admit that as I read on the GTWA Facebook page about all the actions carried out by all those unions and groups who stuck their hand out in solidarity across the ocean to the workers in Australia, I felt a lump in my throat.

Where were you, Grumpy Cat?

P.S. There will be a report on the action in Melbourne will be posted shortly.

akai
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Sep 18 2012 11:35

Grumpy, a comment, please do not take this the wrong way. It certainly is legitimate to ask comrades about how campaigns are going on the ground, but there also are reasons why the Internet is not always the place to talk about these things. The main reason being that the bosses can read everything and, well, they don't need to find out more than they already know.

For that reason, as far as I am concerned, although in private conversation or mail I might be more candid about ups and downs, strategies and next steps, I personally know it would be better to exercise caution in places like this.

In the concrete case, I wouldn't have answered your questions here. And it doesn't make any sense to get emotional and risk saying too much.

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Sep 18 2012 12:34

Hi Lugius, I meant it to be clear that the post on slackbastard was by me. It should have read 'I' not 'a' - sorry a typo.
I am aware of the fight and it sounds horrible, though I have heard vastly different version and I am in no place to judge.
I have contacted the local ASF, but I don't see why this can't be discussed in public.
I didn't realize I had to be someone to judge something.
These days I just call myself a communist. Do I have to say this every time I ask a question?
Meetings between different branches(is that the correct term) of the ASF don't tell me much about the participation of the workers themselves.

I would have the ASF answer the question I asked without being hostile . The Brisbane ASF comrade has done so and has been comradely about it.
I wasn't there because I have seen no evidence that this was anything but people who didn't work at the specific workplace standing outside the front of it. This kind of activity doesn't appeal to me.

And I have presented the 'untruthfullness' - I don't know if this was intentional or if it just is a series of misunderstandings.

Akai I agree - but I still think that there is a distance between the myth and reality that can be addressed on an internet forum

cheers
Dave

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Sep 18 2012 12:38

Also Lugius am I correct that you said that members joined the ASF then formed the GTWA? This is not what I have been informed of by the ASF comrade in Brisbane, who said that the GTWA is autonomous and the drivers behind it are not members of the ASF.
cheers
Dave

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Lugius
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Sep 18 2012 14:21

Ok Mr. Grumpy you typed 'a' when you met to type 'i'. If you have a logitech keyboard like I do, that's a 14cm gap. That's some slip, mate.

'Communist' has certain connotations as you would know as I understand you are employed as an academic at a tertiary institution in Queensland, is that right?

You say these days, what did you call yourself in former times?

Yes, I want to know who wants to know because if you are a statist- type communist, I don't want to put too fine a point on it but, you can get fucked.

Please don't bother with any false calls to unity - those who advocate the state will never be my comrades.

If you are a libertarian-type communist, prove it in addition to explaining exactly what is wrong with referring to oneself as an anarchist.

In my view, your questioning is based on the false (Marxist) premise that imagines the ASF as an activist group somehow separate from the workers.

The ASF is a federation of autonomous unions, not a general membership organisation. Your last post does not make sense.

I attended a meeting of the Workers Solidarity Network in June here in Melbourne to seek their support for the protests against Domino's organised by the ASF Melbourne. The WSN is a motley crew of all types including some trots that have been known to injure themselves in their panicked rush to support workers in reformist unions. One member of Socialist Alliance declared that the ASF was 'substitutionalist' because, according to her, a friend of hers had asked the drivers at Domino's in Flinders St. but none of them knew anything about the wage cut. Being not the least bit interested in some bullshit Marxist denounciation, I responded by addressing the meeting with the simple question; 'Are you going to support the Domino's workers or not?'

Quote:
And I have presented the 'untruthfullness' - I don't know if this was intentional or if it just is a series of misunderstandings.

Forgive me, but I have little patience with this brand of bullshit. I'd be more than happy to hear how the 19% wage cut can be restored above and beyond what the ASF is currently doing.

Quote:
I wasn't there because I have seen no evidence that this was anything but people who didn't work at the specific workplace standing outside the front of it. This kind of activity doesn't appeal to me.

Ok, so what does appeal? And what do you say to those members of the GTWA who ask for the support? Enlighten us with an example of your own 'self-activity' in your own workplace.

Tell us all about what you would do.

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Juan Conatz
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Sep 18 2012 14:30

To be honest, questions on whether this is a more 'outside' solidarity network type campaign or one more on the union side of things is fair, considering the international support. Grumpy didn't seem to ask with the greatest of intentions, but I would personally refrain from responding in the fashion you are, considering this is an active campaign.

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ites
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Sep 18 2012 14:31
grumpy cat wrote:
I would have the ASF answer the question I asked without being hostile.

Asking questions gives aid to and is the thin end of the wedge of trotskyist entryism, comrade. Everyone knows that.

syndicalist
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Sep 18 2012 15:03

Actually comrades, some of us just spent the better part of the month focused on the Dominos campaign, trying to get as many folks (from different libertarian worker tendencies and organizations) to support the workers.

If folks overseas feel that you must spat, maybe it's better to just hold off until this campaign and organizing drive reaches some conclusions. Truthfully, the playing of one-up-personship here does little good for the workers, will not aid in building additional support and, bluntly, plays into the hands of the bosses.

If you all want to continue the back and forth, why not go private?

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Lumpen
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Sep 18 2012 17:25

Damn it. I wrote a long reply, hit refresh and there's a dozen others that tread the same ground. Oh well.

=========

I'm not in the ASF, but I follow these things and can comment and reply with some knowledge.

Grumpy Cat wrote:
I have chosen to use this tone because things in Brisbane are pretty acrimonious and I wanted to give the comrades in the ASF a chance to clarify what is going on.

It's not the tone per se, but the use of loaded questions that is immediately objectionable.

Grumpy Cat wrote:
There is what I have been told by a comrade in the ASF which acknowledges that there are different levels of activity and passivity in the campaign but is generally positive about it all. …There is what I have been told by comrades in the BSN which says that it is non-driver comrades in the ASF that are the real force in this campaign and whilst some drivers may support these efforts they are very passive. Source.

You are suggesting, or attributing to anonymous others the suggestion, that this activity/solidarity somehow infects a rarified notion of "self-activity" that withers at the sight of supposed outsiders, rendering the drivers passive. It seems more likely that your comrade in the BSN is talking shit, and may have more mundane motivations for doing so. Why repeat his/her gossip?

Grumpy Cat wrote:
My understanding ( and lets be clear I have not attended the pickets and everything I know is from comrades who have) is that whilst some drivers may be members of the ASF this campaign has had minimal input by drivers themselves, beyond some passive expressions of support. My understanding is that there has been little on the job activity by drivers as part of the GTWA ( who knows what these drivers are doing themselves everyday in other forms).

That the small number of people in the GTWA in comparison to the total number of employees of Domino's is overwhelming is not a revelatory fact. Nor does it invalidate the "representation of what is going on" versus "the reality" that you don't produce any evidence for, but supplement with derisory charges of "passive expressions" and "little on the job activity" and a patronising "chance to clarify what is going on" because "the misrepresentation of what is going on [is] increasingly hard to stomach". Civil discourse usually requires a bit more civility.

The anxiety over where the GTWA fits into a narrative of proletarian self-activity seems misplaced. It is a projection onto the GTWA to claim they represent anyone but themselves, and work according to "active" and "passive" members (as opposed to leadership by example, as well as ability and need). What the ASF Brisbane did state in their pamphlet on the topic at the time was:

Quote:
The ASF Brisbane are currently starting an ongoing campaign to reinstate the wages of our comrades and raise awareness over the issues of casualisation of labour, and calling on other groups and individuals to join us in solidarity with our members and with the thousands of drivers around Australia that have been affected.[my emphasis]

Your confusion seems to stem from unwarranted incredulity that you can be in the ASF and work for Domino's at the same time, openly demonstrate solidarity with non-members, that drivers and non-drivers can voluntarily work together without being tops or bottoms active or passive, and also that when a small group does things, others become attracted to it. This accounts for the accurate claim that ASF-B started to organise around the above in its infancy due to members having their pay cut, others joined, warranting the creation of the GTWA, then more joined. Hope that helps your stomach.

I suspect the questions you have put, and the form of the questions, has more to do with your statement that "things in Brisbane" justify "the tone", as it seems a bit odd. There is no obvious connection between the apparent acrimony and justification of calling the ASF liars to give them the "opportunity" to disprove that they are liars. It's a dishonest form of argument that has the effect of casting aspersions and deepening conflict.

jolasmo
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Sep 18 2012 18:29

A bit late, but here's a report on the picket in Leeds.

http://yorks-afed.org/2012/09/dominos-day-of-action-a-success/

~J.

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Sep 18 2012 21:35

Hi All,
Look if I am wrong about the level of involvement of workers at Dominos in this struggle then surely the easiest thing to do would be to answer my questions with a 'Look you are wrong, here is what is happening (keeping in mind we are on the internet etc)....'.
Instead apparently my tone, politics and typing skills are wrong. Equally the idea that we shouldn't ask questions during a campaign about claims that are being made would be rejected in any other context.
cheers
Dave

syndicalist
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Sep 18 2012 21:58

Comrade,

If the campaign is not worker run, worker built and worker supported it will fail on its own.
If not, it will begin to make inroads, might defeat the 19% wage reduction and might prove skeptics wrong.

Pardon me if this doesn't come out right. I don't know you, Dave and this not meant more then a general comment. During struggles, rumors, innuendoes and other such things are used to break or weaken a struggle or to separate not so radical workers from radical workers or radical self-organization . Sometimes "we" do it from our revolutionary positions without realizing it.

While I am not against public criticism and even heavy public self-criticism, there's a place for it. And I don't think in the middle of a campaign waging an individual public criticism has value. There is no doubt that I talk from experience here. As I have been on both ends. But in this day of instant communication, surely whatever your beef is can be waged privately. And when the smoke clears, in victory or in defeat, you can again use the public forums to air whatever criticisms you reasonably wish.

Well, it's just an opinion. But the less we give the enemies of the workers, the better the workers will be. It's not like we're talking about a sell-out union cutting a deal with the bosses behind the workers back, right?

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Sep 18 2012 22:23
Quote:
If the campaign is not worker run, worker built and worker supported it will fail on its own.
If not, it will begin to make inroads, might defeat the 19% wage reduction and might prove skeptics wrong.

Agreed. But if you witnessed a campaign get international traction and was presented as being something vastly different from how your trusted comrades, who had been involved in it, were describing it wouldn't you ask questions? This could all have been easily clarified.
cheers
Dave

syndicalist
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Sep 18 2012 22:29

Dave, are you saying you are/were involved in this campaign? I mean hands on involved?

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With Sober Senses
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Sep 18 2012 22:41

No, no I am not syndicalist. I have been very clear that all my information is second hand.

syndicalist
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Sep 18 2012 22:47
grumpy cat wrote:
No, no I am not syndicalist. I have been very clear that all my information is second hand.

I missed that...You ain't even in the mix?......For sure, I'd say just cool it, man. Let's see how this plays out then. If you're right, my feelings about open criticism on Libcom still stands, but will electronically by you a drink of choice.

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Sep 19 2012 06:01

@Grumpy Cat: The tone is being discussed because it is so surprising that it required justification, which you attempted to do. It seems pretty reasonable to address whether the question itself has merit before answering a question.

I disagree with others that you shouldn't critique or question "in the middle of a campaign" though. It's fine to do it whenever, of course.

Where I disagree with you is that these are pressing charges that require urgent attention – no evidence has been presented other than hearsay from some apparently hostile units.

No effective argument has been made that, were it the case that some in the ASF had taken leadership roles in opposing a pay cut for their members, this would mean that a) the rest of the membership can be discounted as "passive" and b) that the ASF has misrepresented themselves and led an international solidarity goose chase, and that this has a measurable impact on worker's self-activity, however that is defined.

A potential consequence is that support be withdrawn and the workers (inside the ASF, I mean) are put in a worse position. I think the reason why there is passion behind the responses is because you seem willing to risk this for others without troubling yourself to mount an effective argument (when you are certainly capable). When there is scant evidence to support the thesis, people such as myself are left with the question of why would bother to put it. It's not surprising that tone and the questions themselves become the focus when there isn't much else to focus on.

For the record, I do think there are good questions along similar lines. For example, whether these developments in the ASF are sustained through sheer exertion of will by motivated individuals. Or if workers who joined the ASF/GTWA are attracted to the ideas and organisation enough to recirculate these efforts, and if this leaves the workers in a better or worse position regardless of the outcome.

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Sep 19 2012 06:59

Hi Lumpen just a quick point (I am at work). I asked these questions because myself and a good comrade from BSN were increasingly surprised that this huge international campaign took off, when what we understood to be happening on the ground looked nothing like its representation in international narratives. The comrade from BSN attended at least the first picket and is in regular communication and chats with comrades from the ASF. The only other evidence I have seen was photos of very small pickets of a few people which seemed to reflect the ASF membership.

One of the questions I asked was if the planned meeting with the drivers on Saturday happened. If it did this would be evidence of something really interesting, if instead it was a few people with a flag handing out leaflets (something I have done a lot of and obviously something that is often worthwhile) that would be interesting also. I don't understand why this can't be answered.

If the GTWA has actually been formed by a handful or plus of drivers, this would be a pretty huge leap forward in the activity of AS in Australia and equally would be worth talking about in detail. How did this happen, what debates did people have, how are decision being made etc? Surely a few interviews (with aliases of course) of drivers involved would be amazing. What about industrial action etc? The only detailed report I have seen is from Wollongong which presented the problems of trying to build a campaign from outside a workplace.

I also wouldn't see the BSN as hostile to the ASF. Even in the midst of the IWW/ASF dispute comrades from the BSN and ASF seem to socialise and get on well.
cheers
Dave

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Lugius
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Sep 19 2012 20:31

Dear Mr. Cat

You place your prurient interest above those of the campaign to restore the wages of the delivery drivers. Your insistence on subjecting the struggle of service industry workers to your academic gaze suggests not only a sense of entitlement but also a sense of superiority matched only by selective application of standards of honesty.

But then, you are a Marxist.

I shall continue this dialogue via your recently obtained (publicly available on the University of Queensland website) current email address, expect to receive a rude one from me shortly. It will contain strong language and may offend. Feel free to reproduce the text therein and analyse it for any overt or covert pseudo-transgressionalist tendencies or contextualise it into a dialectical discourse that includes art as paradox challenging class divisions interpolated into neostructural sublimation that includes truth as reality.

Farewell and Adieu

princess mob
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Sep 20 2012 05:03

Oh come on. The only decent grounds you might be able to criticise Grumpy Cat on in this discussion is the idea that, given that there's the ongoing industrial dispute *and* whatever inter-organisational fights are going on, a public forum night not be the best place for discussion right now. I don't completely agree in this case, but I have sympathy for that idea - or at least agree with Lumpen that maybe they're not incredibly urgent questions.

The fact that he's a communist or an academic or dresses funny [may not have been mentioned yet; is true] is neither here nor there.

Nor does the fact that it's a campaign about something important - ie the drivers getting their wage cut reversed - mean that it can't be questioned/everyone should just support it without asking questions about how it works internally. By that logic, none of us could ever question pretty much anything ever.

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@ndy
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Sep 20 2012 05:52

Admin: post this refers to has been removed.

LOL.

Member for 47 min 16 sec and counting...