A brief introduction to trade or labour unions, their function in society and how we at libcom.org think we should approach them, as workers.
To most people, a union is an organisation of workers created to defend and improve its members' conditions with respect to things like pay, pensions and benefits.
This is partially accurate, but definitely far from the whole story.
Joel Schwartz goes over some issues the IWW could use to advance its contract-less organizing.
There are two general categories of activity for our union. One is organizational activity and the other is programmatic activity. These two exist in a closely interwoven, and one could say dialectical, relationship.
An article published in the Playtime Omnibus on the possibility of workers' unity in small firms and the actions of atomised militants. Originally written between 1983 and 1985.
In small paternalistic firms, relations with the boss are direct - people are obliged to have a personal relationship with him. Wage rises and promotion (or, more exactly, increased responsibility) depend on dealing with him on an individual basis. It involves competition with your fellow wage-labourers. Those competing hardest grass up their rivals and everyone else to the boss.
This response is primarily written with the intention of facilitating an introduction to Direct Unionism for service workers who are very new to labour. We hope to participate in the DU discussion, and share with those interested how we have been affected by these conversations and also how we are practicing and implementing these ideas.
Direct Unionism in Practice: Undermining Service Industry Barriers to Worker Solidarity
A piece by Sabotage that attempts to find common ground between insurrectionary anarchists and platformists/anarcho-syndicalists.
In recent years there have been many debates within the anarchist movement about the insurrectionary method of organizing for revolution.1
- 1. Crimethinc’s Say You Want An Insurrection?, Peter Gelderloos’ Insurrection vs.
A member of Common Struggle-Libertarian Communist Federation assesses the NEFAC-Bring the Ruckus debate on organization of 2002.
[i]Common Struggle – Libertarian Communist Federation (LCF), formerly known as the North Eastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (NEFAC), has been in existence for nearly eleven years now. From its inception it has billed itself as Platformist: that is to say, generally following the guidelines of the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists (or, General Union of Anarchists).
A piece by Alex Erickson, briefly exploring some thoughts on workplace strategy and organization.
In organizing, you have to develop a theory and an understanding of society, make a plan for action, and fully devote yourself to carrying out the plan and reaching your goal. There can be no half-measures if you want to be successful. Only by carrying things through to their logical conclusion can we decisively determine whether we were correct in our strategy.