accounts

How I got fired and won my job back

An article from an IWW organizer about his organizing that led to his being fired and returned to work.

The Termination

Sick to myself

An account by Scott Nappalos about calling in sick.

1 a.m… 3:50... 3:55... 4 a.m. I rise from bed bleary-eyed. Standing makes me cough. “Great a new symptom,” I think to myself. Walking to the bathroom, the day before me goes through my head. Pacing down the halls, lifting patients, comforting families, dealing with managers; the flood of images makes me weary.

All in a day’s work: life and labor in the day labor industry

An article by Everett Martinez about the day labor industry in the construction trades.

Whether it means the arduous toil of building a house or the technical knowhow required to unclog a home septic system, “day labor” is the catch-all term for an industry defined by its instability, unreliability and illegality for those who work in it.

Just say no

A short of account of a low-level direct action - a collective refusal to undertake a certain aspect of work - that occurred at a small language school.

Like every child of the Reagan era, my teachers taught me how to steer clear of drugs: “Just Say No”.

Having spent all my working life in an economy largely defined by Reagan's neoliberal restructuring, I've come to appreciate the power of “Just Say No” - although perhaps not in the way old Ronnie intended.

Lunch lady land: reflections on a unionization drive from a radical food service worker

An account of organising in a US college cafeteria.

It was sometime in late February, 2011 when we let the cat out of the bag. I was working the swing shift in the college’s main cafeteria – “The Den” as it was known. It was starting to get dark, and I had just clocked out for my lunch break and stepped outside onto the smoking dock.

Belgium: the general strike - Solidarity

Pamphlet from January 1961 with first-hand news and accounts of the huge general strike in Belgium which was ongoing against the introduction of the "Loi Unique" which would reduce workers' purchasing power. Produced by Agitator (later renamed Solidarity) and New Generation, paper of the Young Socialist League, youth wing of the Independent Labour Party, much of it was written by Maurice Brinton under the pseudonym Martin Grainger.

Renault workers fight sackings - Solidarity

A graphic account, written by rank-and-file French metalworkers, of struggles against job cuts at Renault in Paris and Le Mans, written as British car manufacturers also make cuts. Published as the first Agitator (later renamed Solidarity) pamphlet.

An account of winning reinstatement for a suspended worker

A short account from a friend of ours of how he and his colleagues managed to get a member of staff who had been suspended on disciplinary grounds reinstated.

A couple of years ago I was working in a local council in a children's social services of 60 people. The team was overwhelmingly female and ethnically very diverse. Half of the workers were Unison members, and I was one of two shop stewards.

Scabs! part II: the St. Albert wildcat

This entry is the second part in a two-part story from contributor Phinneas Gage about a wildcat strike by contractors at the Canadian postal service, and continues our coverage of struggles within Canada Post.

Part I

Busmen, what next? - Solidarity

Solidarity pamphlet 16, published 21 January, 1964 and written mostly by London bus workers. It looks at the life of the workers, past struggles, the present situation and makes suggestions on how to organise for the future.