manufacturing and materials

The worms that turned: a story about workers in revolt - Eddy Horner

A first person account of an unsuccessful strike at CPC wallpaper in West Durham, England, in the early 1990s, after which Eddy and a strike supporter turned to crime.

Dagong Diary, Part 1: Job Hunting

Part 1 of a 7-part series recording a short excursion into the lives of migrant workers at the beginning of China’s working year, in an industrial district of Shenzhen.

Four years later, still a graveyard of Chinese youth

Foxconn suicides continue

In 2014, on the eve of China’s national day celebrations, scenes recalling those of four years ago appeared in Chinese headlines. Foxconn became known to the world four years ago when thirteen of its young workers jumped to their deaths in quick succession. The death of young Foxconn worker and poet Xu Lizhi reminded us that in this Fortune 500 company that produces some 40% of the world’s electronics, the cruelty and hopelessness of workers' situation has not changed. But most of us are unaware that Xu is not alone. At least five other workers, and likely more than that, have joined him this year. Many other workers have taken their own lives since the famous 13.

Big Wullie: or ten years of industrial bliss

A personal account of work life as an apprentice in a Glasgow metalwork shop in the 1960s and 70s.

Another shoe strike in the Pearl River Delta: Lide, Guangzhou

lide strike gz 2014

Translation of a brief report on a strike of 2,500 workers at a shoe factory in Guangzhou that began today. As with the strike of about 50,000 workers at another company's shoe factories in the Pearl River Delta several months ago, one focus of this strike is on the company's non-payment of social security, along with factory relocation.

Strength of the street: Karachi 1972 - Kamran Asdar Ali

Betrayal: Bhutto addresses crowds before the election

A short history of the mass strike in Karachi in June, 1972 following the killings of three striking factory workers by police.

Syndicalism in action: how the Italian glassblowers became their own employers - Odon Por

A short pamphlet, which is very uncritical but still contains useful historical information about Italian glassblowers in the early 20th century, who first formed an industrial union then formed a cooperative to rival the private employers.

The 1935 Flour City Ornamental Iron Works strike - Drew Shonka

Damage to Flour City Ornamental Iron Company building during strike, Minneapolis

An article by Drew Shonka about an AFL strike at the Flour City Ornamental Iron Works in Minneapolis, which left 2 dead and dozens injured after police opened fire on pickets after street fighting.

The occupation of the factories: Italy 1920 - Paolo Spriano

Fiat plant occupied by the workers, 1920

The story of the mass wave of strikes and factory occupations which swept Italy 1920-21 told from the documents and accounts of the time. Written in 1964 and translated into English in 1975 by Gwyn A Williams, who also wrote the introduction. We don't agree with all of the political perspective of the author but reproduce this text for its historical factual information.

"It will ignite again": Strike at large shoe-factories in Dongguan, China

Yue Yuen strike, April 2014

Recently, the city of Dongguan in the Pearlriver-delta saw the biggest strike of migrant workers so far. As many as 50,000 workers took part in the strike at Yue Yuen ((裕元) shoe factories. Owned by the Taiwanese Pou Chen Group, Yue Yuen is one of the biggest contract manufacturers in the world for shoes. Its factories in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam produce for all big brands like Adidas, Nike, or Reebok.