No pain no gain

Track / Image by Monica Kostas

The fifth installment in Recomposition's 'Politics on the Field' series comes to us from Chicago where Kingsley Clarke discusses his love of track and field, a view into youth coaching of the sport, and the class and racial dynamics that exist today.

An account of the BFI strike, 1974

BFI strike, 1974

A short personal account of a strike at the British Film Institute in 1974 by Jonathan Rosenbaum.

An account of the British Film Institute strikes, 2002

Picket line outside the head office

A short personal account of the strikes at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London in 2002.

"I barely survived on Chicago-Lake Liquors wages": an account of a campaign

An account by Juan Conatz of an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) campaign at a liquor store in Minneapolis during the first half of 2013.

Hat Trick

Hat Trick / Image by Monica Kostas

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.

Wages so low you'll freak - Mike Pudd'nhead

A book by Mike Pudd'nhead about his experience working at Jimmy Johns in the Twin Cities, Minnesota and attempting to organize a union with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) from 2007-2011.

Where Civilisation Begins

ARNOLD WESKER, born in Stepney in 1932, is the author of The Kitchen, Chicken Soup with Barley, Roots, I'm Talking about Jerusalem, and Chips with Everything. He is the prime mover in Centre 42, whose origins and hopes he explains in this extract from a broadcast talk.

Package Handler’s Report and Analysis

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.

Free parking - Phinneas Gage

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.

Clarissa, Who Explained It All - Romina Akemi

The fourth installment in Recomposition's ‘How I was radicalized’ series comes from Romina Akemi. She describes working at a garment factory in the American South, where she was mentored by an older co-worker.