on-the-job action

Bin workers fight cuts with unofficial work to rule

Rubbish piles up in Breckland

Refuse collectors in Breckland began taking on-the-job action on Monday in a dispute over job cuts.

The Watton and Swaffham Times reported that rubbish is mounting up outside homes in Breckland because binmen are locked in an industrial dispute.

Waste went uncollected at a number of properties on Monday and there are fears the bin backlog could spread to other homes in the district after its rubbish collection teams began a “work to rule”.

France: Sabotage at Renault factory

Workers at the Renault factory in Le Mans have been accused by management of sabotaging factory equipment.

The action appears to be a response to the sacking, ten days ago, of five workers for faute grave (gross misconduct). It is unclear how many of the 3000 workers were involved in the action, management has not specified exactly what form the sabotage took. The condemnation of the action by the CFDT union also fails to describe the action.

Ireland: Nurses' rolling strikes continue

Striking nurses in Dublin on strike last week

Nurses across Ireland are taking strike action to support their claim for a 10% pay rise and a 35 hour week.

The actions, organised by the INO (Irish Nurses organisation) and the PNA (Psychiatric Nurses Organisation) which have a total of over 40000 members, have had two main elements so far. A well-observed work-to rule and a series of one-hour stoppages over the last three weeks in 11 institutions.

Civil servants strike over pay

Over 20,000 civil servants are on strike or taking action short of strike today in a row over pay.

Thousands of workers at Ministry of Defence and Identity and Passports service are on strike due to a proposed wage increase of 2% below inflation.

Direct action victory on health and safety at Starbucks, 2006

Making work safer through direct action - Daniel Gross and Joe Tessone recount the actions of workers winning a small but significant victory on health and safety at a Chicago Starbucks outlet in 2006.

Requests have been routinely made and ignored for the purchase of a stepladder. It is vital for our safety that we have a stepladder available to use for such tasks as changing light bulbs, reaching boxes on high shelves, and cleaning ceiling tiles. Currently, we are forced to balance ourselves on unstable café tables to accomplish tasks in hard to reach places.

Postal worker facing sack for refusing to deliver homophobic pamphlet

A letter carrier in Canada who refused to deliver a homophobic pamphlet for Canada Post in late October is facing disciplinary action, as colleagues took a short wildcat strike in protest.

As reported previously on libcom.org, the conflict within Canada Post began on October 26 when the letter carrier refused to process a pamphlet, published by a Baptist Mission in Ontario, entitled, “The Prophetic Word: The Plague of this 21st Century: The Consequences of the sin of Homosexuality (AIDS).”

Ireland bus fare-free day, 2003

Article about Irish bus workers organising a fare free day on 18 July 2003, in which they allowed passengers to travel for free in protest against privatisation of the services.

Whistle-blowing guide

Sometimes simply telling people the truth about what goes on at work can put a lot of pressure on the boss. This page contains information on using information to winning improvements at work.

Consumer industries like restaurants and packing plants are the most vulnerable. And again, as in the case of the good work strike, you'll be gaining the support of the public, whose patronage can make or break a business.

Sabotage in the workplace

Sabotage is the generic term for a whole host of tricks, deviltry, and assorted nastiness that can remind the boss how much he needs his workers (and how little the workers need them). Here are some examples

The term "sabotage" derives from French factory workers throwing their wooden shoes ("sabots") into machinery to jam them and stop production. Sabotage refers to all activities which workers can undertake to reduce production or rate of work.

These can be minor activities such as making personal phone calls on work time to major destruction of property or information.

Dual power at work

Ignore the boss - and do it yourself!

The best way to get something done is simply organise and do it ourselves. At work this can take the form of dual power strategies - workers making changes to their work environment without seeking management approval.

Rather than wait for the boss to give in to our demands and institute long-sought change, workers often have the power to institute those changes on our own, without the boss's say-so.

Some practical examples: