strikes

To escape Trump's America, we need to bring the militant labor tactics of 1946 back to the future

The last general strike in the US was in Oakland in 1946. That year there were 6 city-wide general strikes, plus nationwide strikes in steel, coal, and rail transport. More than 5 million workers struck in the biggest strike wave of US history. So what happened? Why haven't we ever gone out like that again? ... When we allowed ourselves to lose our most important weapons 70 years ago, we took the first step towards Trump's America. We're stuck in the wrong timeline - if we want to get out, we have to bring the militant labor tactics of 1946 back to the future!

The general strike of 1842

Illustration of a strike meeting

A detailed, full-length history of the UK Chartist general strike of 1842 against pay cuts and for universal male suffrage, by Mick Jenkins with an introduction by John Foster.

Ovambo migrant workers general strike for rights, Namibia: 1971-72

Ovambo miners towards the end of the strike

In the winter of 1971-72 the economy of South West Africa (Namibia) was shutdown by a general strike of contract labourers challenged the economic system emplaced by Apartheid South Africa. The strike led to the scrapping of the contract system and is seen as a watershed moment, encouraging a rapid growth of opposition movements.

The Luddites: machine-breaking in regency England

Cartoon depicting the fictional Luddite leader Ned Ludd

A historical overview and analysis of the Luddite movement 1811-1816 which swept parts of the UK as workers smashed machines to defend their jobs, pay and conditions.

Foodora strikes in Italy: the dark side of the sharing economy

Couriers for the Foodora food delivery app have been taking strike action, raising more questions about the 'gig economy' and how workers in it can organise.

21st October: a day of general strike

On 21 October, over 1.3 million workers took part in a general strike called by a number of base trade unions (USB, S.I. Cobas, Unicobas, Adl Cobas, Cub Lazio) and joined by many organisations and local groups throughout Italy.

The Iceland women’s strike, 1975

Women on strike in Reykjavik, 1975

A short history of the strike, or day off, by 90% of women in Iceland for equality with men on 24 October, 1975, written by Steven Johns.

An account of the BFI strike, 1974

BFI strike, 1974

A short personal account of a strike at the British Film Institute in 1974 by Jonathan Rosenbaum.

An account of the British Film Institute strikes, 2002

Picket line outside the head office

A short personal account of the strikes at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London in 2002.

Modern day slavery in the USA

US prison labourers

Since the 45th Anniversary of the Attica prison riots – September 9th, 2016 – an estimated 24,000 people have been on strike in the USA. If you haven’t heard of the strike you are not alone. It has mostly been ignored by the mainstream media and even much of the Left. This is because the strikers are made up of a group who usually don’t feature in strikes: prison workers.