Meredith Burgmann's pioneering work on the history of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Builders Labourers' Federation. During the 1960s and 1970s the NSWBLF introduced limited tenure of office for union officials, tied officials' pay to the minimum industry wage, introduced highly democratic forms of decision-making, and pursued militant industrial tactics. The union was also notable for its aggressive support of other social groups, most notably through the placing of "Green Bans" where members prevented work from taking place on environmentally or socially destructive projects.
The mood and discussions of late have largely been doom and gloom. Our series has tried to shine a light on some hope for workers resistance to counter the demobilize barrage of social and anti-social media. Our final piece in the Labor under Trump series comes from Ideas and Action the online publication of the Workers Solidarity Alliance. David Fernández-Barrial argues that there is an untapped potential within workplaces to defeat the threats looming, and take us closer to a just and equitable society.
In our second installment in our Labor under Trump mini-series, Mark Brenner from Labor Notes explores what union members can do in the face of anticipated threats. At this point most of the debate is speculation, but the labor notes piece is worth discussing because they explore concrete experiences in areas where anti-labor policies have been implemented such as organizing in right-to-work states and solidarity with coworkers independent of their immigration status. Brenner paints a picture of a labor movement at a crossroads, a theme we will return to next week.
Issue of Echanges from the latter part of 1977 primarily about the trade unions and the role they play in Europe in undermining autonomous working class struggle.