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on-the-job action

WCH E5: Workmates - organising with agency workers on London Underground

London Underground track workers

An interview with Andy Littlechild, a rail track charge hand and rail workers' union official, about Workmates: a fighting organisation of permanent and agency contract workers on London Underground in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Sabotage in the American workplace: anecdotes of dissatisfaction, mischief and revenge

Sabotage in The Office

A truly fantastic study of everyday employee resistance at work. First person accounts of sabotage, beautifully illustrated and intermingled with related news clippings, facts and quotes.

The UK coalminers’ dispute, 1973-4

Miners picket a colliery in Doncaster, 1974

A short account of the national coal miners’ dispute in the winter of 1973-4 which led to the three-day week, the collapse of the Conservative government and a 35% pay increase for the miners.

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.

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.

Dockers boycott SS Jolly George, 1920

Commemorative stamp depicting Harry Pollitt and the boycott

A short account of UK dockworkers who in May 1920 refuse to load a ship carrying armaments bound for use against the revolution in Russia.

Building a community: construction workers in Stevenage 1950-1970

Construction workers in Stevenage

Interesting pamphlet about the workers who built the new town of Stevenage, commissioned by the government in 1946. Constructed from interviews with the workers themselves, they discuss their disputes with the employers and their building of a community.

Building the Barbican 1962-1982: taking the industry out of the dark ages

Workers on the Barbican site, 1965

Fantastic pamphlet on the workers' struggles during the construction of the brutalist masterpiece the Barbican in central London. Told largely in the words of the workers themselves.

Industrial action by NHS doctors, 1975 - Steven Johns

Junior doctors taking action in 1975

A short history of the three sets of industrial action which were undertaken by consultants and junior doctors respectively in the UK in 1975. Though both were very different in content, both were largely successful.

Jimmy John's Workers Picket in Baltimore

On October 19th, members of the IWW Jimmy John's Workers Union picketed their workplace to demand the rehiring of a worker who was targeted for his union membership.