car industry

Separate agreement leads to expulsion of FIOM from Fiat Italian factories

Workers of the FIOM union are marching

Thousands of FIAT workers will no longer be represented by FIOM, the main Italian union of mechanical industrial workers.

In a unilateral decision, on December 22 (2011), the main industrial group of Italy cancelled the collective bargaining agreement with its plants, while at the same time abandoning Confindustria (the Italian Association of Industry Owners).

Punching out: one year in a closing auto plant - Paul Clemens

In the aftermath of one of the oldest car factories in Detroit closing, Paul Clemens speaks to those dismantling it, those who lost their jobs and examines how it could happen.

The origins of the union shop - Tom Wetzel

Article about the practice and limitations of union (closed) shops in the US workers' movement in the 1930s and 40s. In particular it examines how they helped unions act as a tool of discipline over workers as opposed to a tool for defending their interests.

The concept of "union security" or "maintenance of membership" -- more commonly called the "union shop" 1 -- means that being a union member "in good standing" becomes a condition for continued employment. If you cease to be a member of the union, the company is required to fire you.

  • 1. libcom note: "closed shop" in the UK

States of emergency: Cultures of revolt in Italy from 1968 to 1978 - Robert Lumley

Students demonstrate in Milan, 1968

The complete text of the definitive book on the mass social movements in Italy in the 1960s and 70s in which author Robert Lumley traces their development, growth then recuperation and decline. Highly recommended.

OCRed for by Linda Towlson.

epub & mobi versions produced by Luxury Communism.

Wartime strikes: The struggle against the no-strike pledge in the UAW during World War II - Martin Glaberman

Martin Glaberman's examination of American car industry workers wildcat strike wave, despite their own union's no strike pledge, during World War 2.

Taken from

Where has all my money gone you vile insidious woman?

The great privatisation swindle has meant that we are indirectly paying twice for some services. Successive governments has trousered trillions from the legalised thievery that was made popular by 'that woman'. Where has my money gone, and can I have it back please?

The issue of privatisation is a contentious issue for many. I constantly ask myself why I want the state to control a variety of services when I actually want to abolish the state. For me the answer is two-fold. Firstly, the society that I want to see is not about to arrive any time soon, although you never known.

Competition, bankruptcy, and the decline of the United Auto Workers

UAW retirees on the line

September 21st, 2011: The United Auto Workers and General Motors are wrapping up contract negotiations following their previous contract’s expiration on September 14th.

The UAW has released only an outline of the new contract’s features, lauding the contracts “improvements in health care benefits,” pensions, and “improved profit-sharing” between owners and employees.

La « Garde rouge » raconte

Cover of the book - published by Les nuits rouges

The centre of gravity of the workers’ committee movement in Italy in the late '60s to late '70s was the Milan area, and it was the committee of Magneti Marelli in the Crescenzago factory which was the most advanced expression of the committees in this region, and thus in the whole country. This book by the Italian historian Emilio Mentasti examines the whole history of the committee from its birth during the economic crisis of 1973 to its dissolution under the blows of judicial repression and industrial restructuring.

Unfortunately, there is no English edition available as yet...

Preface to the French edition

United States: Workers on the Move - Fred Pilgotsky

Article appearing in International Socialism, No.70, Mid-June 1974, by auto worker and socialist Fred Pilgotsky. In it he talks about wildcats in the auto industry, the conflicts between the unions and the rank-and-file, and the significance of race in the US.

LAST JULY two black production workers, Larry Carter and Isaac Shorter, climbed over the gate to the power control panel in one of Detroit’s largest car assembly plants, the Jefferson Assembly Rant, and cut off the power to the spot-welding department.

Workers' autonomy strikes in China - Mouvement Communiste and Kolektivně proti kapitálu

Striking workers at Honda, Zhongshan, summer 2010

A pamphlet by Mouvement Communiste and Kolektivně proti kapitálu about the wave of strikes that swept the industrialised coast of China in the summer of 2010.