Book from 1979 discussing the experience of working class people, mostly socialists, in working within the public sector in the late 1970s, or relying upon it as service provider; and the contradictions that reveals.
The first version of In and Against the State was published as a pamphlet in 1979; then reissued with minor updates to the original text, and a substantial postscript the next year.
Many people have started talking about such institutions as schools, hospitals, local councils and local magistrates courts as 'the state'. Yet just a few years ago it would have seemed quite out of place to most people to use such a hard, 'political' term about such familiar, everyday things.
Recent industrial news from the UK, including transport strikes in Liverpool, walkouts at West Lothian Council and Southampton libraries, and strike ballots for London firefighters, ambulance drivers, and tube staff.
Bin workers strike at West Lothian council
Refuse workers at West Lothian Council have taken strike action over a pay cut being imposed as part of the downgrading of their jobs.
All refuse workers face a job downgrade which will amount to a cut of at least £2,800 a year. The first 24-hour strike took place on Friday the 27th of August, and was sanctioned by the GMB union.
Analytical Tale of Toil by Steven Colatrella
"Transform the world by labor! But the world is being transformed by labor, which is why it is being transformed so badly."
"Anything built on sacrifice and self-renunciation only demands more sacrifice and renunciation."
Workers at leisure centres, art galleries, community centres and other cultural sites in Glasgow have taken part in two days of strike action over pay and working conditions.
Culture & Sport Glasgow (CSG), which runs the sites, has imposed a pay freeze on all staff, a pay cut of 10% on several hundred workers, and has cut overtime and public holiday rates. Weekly working hours are being reduced from 37 to 35 with a 6% cut in pay. In response, two walkouts have taken place, on the 30th of April and 6th of May, with further action threatened.
A wave of strikes culminating on Thursdays pan-worker mobilisation has been the response to the scaremongering of the government amidst the worsening economic crisis that threatens Greece with bankruptcy.
After the week of riots came the week of strikes: the multifold strikes that are taking place since Tuesday 15 December and peaked on Thursday 17 with the pan-workers strike called by PAME, the Communist Party Union Front, as wells a dozens of extra-parliamentary parties of the left and first-grade unions forming demos in 58 cities and towns around Greece.
An Edinburgh refuse worker describes the background ther dispute with the council, the workers' collective action, and the council's attempts to break the strike. Taken from the second issue of the Edinburgh Muckraker.
What’s behind the dispute?