The third part of an interview with Neil Rothnie about North Sea oil workers’organisation.
Gabriel Levy. All the events you have described, from Piper Alpha onwards, took place in the aftermath of the 1984-85 miners’ strike. How do these things relate to each other?
The second part of an interview with Neil Rothnie about North Sea oil workers’organisation.
Gabriel Levy. When the OILC was set up, in the aftermath of the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988, what was it aiming to do?
Neil Rothnie. Ronnie Macdonald had a vision of the OILC being a ginger group to force the unions to get their act together, to collaborate and to do what unions were supposed to do.
GL. What did other workers think? And what did you think?
A chapter by Lucien van der Walt providing a brief overview of the union movement in South Africa, black and white, its achievements and its challenges.This includes a discussion of all the main union federations and their background, including the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA).
It is also critical of the corporatist strategy of the largest federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), arguing that COSATU efforts to shape state policy through corporatist structures bureaucratise unions and require unions to co-manage the capitalist/ state system that they were founded to fight.
In 2006, Cosatu called for the introduction of a universal basic incomes grant in response to the ANC introducing various welfare measures to alleviate poverty. Lucien van der Walt argued that that unions had been sidestracked by technocratic demands and that the demand for welfare should instead be linked to the struggle of the working class to reinvent society.
In this transcript of a lecture delivered in 2008, Miguel Amorós examines economic and political trends since 1988 and their impact on the diminished ranks of the unionized working class, the meaning of the general strikes that took place in Europe during that period, the nostalgia for the welfare state that inspires the “aristocracy of labor”, and the ominous emergence of large numbers of surplus proletarians, lacking any kind of bonds or relations with one another, with nothing in common except their way of life as “the typical individuals of mass society, isolated, amorphous and manipulable” and their superfluity with regard to the process of production.
Strikes That Give the Impression We Are Winning – Miguel Amorós
“Victory over foreigners calls for praise, victory over Greeks for mourning.” (Gorgias)
Smile and say "freeze" (Darnovsky, Marcy)
Let's fake a deal a history of arms control (Darnovsky, Marcy)
Poem (Kurtz, Sharon)
A cure for the common cold war (Athanasiou)
M*A*S*H marches on (Lindsey, Karen)
Poems (Lourie, Dick Wallace, Bronwen)
Fighting union busting in the 80s (Clawson, Dan Johnson, Karen Schall, John)
Jeremy Brecher's history and analysis of the huge strike across the steel industry in 1919, which was defeated by a combination of massive repression and undermining by the unions.
Out of the many strikes at the time, the conflict that most held the nation's attention in 1919 was the great strike in steel.
A short history of the nationwide wildcat strike of US rail workers in 1919, which won pay increases despite being viciously undermined by the trade unions.
There were a large number of strikes in 1919, many of which were "outlaw" or wildcat strikes, opposed as heartily by the unions as by the employers. These spread even to such citadels of trade union authority as the printing trades. But the most important of all was on the railroads.