Unions - reading guide

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libcom.org's reading guide around trade or labour unions and the role they play in modern society.

Key texts

Case studies

Other recommended texts

More information

  • Unions archive - libcom.org's unions tag containing all our content about the nature of unions and trade unionism.

Comments

Spikymike
Feb 14 2013 11:17

A more balanced listing of key texts given the continuing arguments on this site around the issue of the trade unions might include some of the following:

One of my favourites:
'Trade Unions Pillars of Capitalism' at http://internationalist-perspective.org/IP/ip-archive/ip_41_trade-unions.html
and:
Unions Against Revolution by G.Munis.
Organised Labour versus 'The Revolt Against Work' by J.Zerzan.
Unions and Political Struggle by Mouvement Communiste.
Unions Against the Working Class by the ICC.

and of course some of the old Subversion and Wildcat short texts.

Some similar themes in these of course but not entirely consistent by any means.

Chilli Sauce
Feb 14 2013 11:20
woooo
Feb 14 2013 11:41

Don't forget the communisation critique to

Entdinglichung
Feb 14 2013 12:29

during the 1970ies, there was a lively discussion in Germany about the "double character of unions": one the one hand being an elementary expression of the self-organization of the working-class and therefore inherently in a state of confrontation with the ruling class, on the other hand also inherently integrated into capitalism by being the body which negotiates the price of the commodity of labour power with the ruling class and therefor automatically subject to integration (which also applies to revolutionary unions in non-revolutionary-times) ... Marx wrote some stuff about the Janus-headed task of unions inside/against the wage system but I don't know exactly where (probably in The Poverty of Philosophy?)

Chilli Sauce
Feb 14 2013 20:40
Quote:
Marx wrote some stuff about the Janus-headed task of unions inside/against the wage system but I don't know exactly where (probably in The Poverty of Philosophy?)

I'd be interested to read that if anyone can find an excerpt....?

jonthom
Apr 26 2013 13:25

I've not had time to read through all of the above yet but I do have a question: does anyone have a suggested texts for anarchists working within the mainstream unions? I get the impression many anarchists (at least here) are part of whatever the recognised union is where they work, so would be interesting to know what sort of lessons people have learned and whether there's any potential for wider co-ordination (e.g. if a given union has a sizeable enough number of anarchos would it be worthwhile producing some common material?).

I guess a related question would be about the IWW's encouragement of "dual carding"; The Role of the Dual Carder in the IWW (pdf) might be of interest in this regard?