unions

Lessons of the collectives - Victor Alba

Published by Victor Alba, a former member of the POUM, in 2001, just before his death, this text addresses problems that the author believes will be faced by any resurgence of collectives of the kind formed in Spain during the Civil War, specifically problems of a “psychological” kind, warning that any future attempts to form collectives—in a society that has become an “amorphous mesocratic miasma” that has suppressed working class culture and militant traditions—will be dominated by a desire for more money and possessions rather than concerns about the environment, natural resources, and energy, for instance, which require the acceptance of “austerity”, and quality rather than quantity.

Kazakhstan: who ordered the killings and tortures?

Four years after the massacre of striking oil workers by security forces at Zhanaozen in western Kazakhstan, the campaign to unmask those who gave the orders goes on

The South African Wobblies: The Origins of Industrial Unions in South Africa - John Philips

John Philip’s pioneering, hard-to-get study of syndicalism in South Africa, stressing the influence of the IWW.

The Rise and Fall of the ICU: a Case of Self-Destruction? - Phil Bonner

This essay, which first appeared in the South African Labour Bulletin, sought to draw the lessons of the spectacular rise and fall of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU) in South Africa, which in the 1920s was the biggest black protest movement in the country.

'Sifuna zonke!’: revolutionary syndicalism, the Industrial Workers of Africa and the fight against racial capitalism, 1915-1921 - Bikisha Media Collective

Police disperse a strike meeting, Market Square, Johannesburg, 1913.

Pamphlet from the Bikisha Media Collective on the development of revolutionary syndicalist organisations in South Africa, including the Industrial Workers of Africa.

Syndicalists in South Africa, 1908-17 - Baruch Hirson

Mary 'Pickhandle' Fitzgerald addressing strikers in Market Square, 1913.

Baruch Hirson, South African Trotskyist, provides some insight into the South African syndicalists of the early twentieth century recovering the history of South African left traditions ignored or caricatured in the South African Communist Party and academic accounts. Although his interest was in the Communist Party and the Trotskyists that emerged subsequently, his work also touched on the anarchist and syndicalist tradition, as this interesting paper shows.

Social Struggle in the Coming Period: An Outlook and Action Statement to Guide Our Participation

The following points represent a brief statement of priorities, an outline of some of the perspectives our organization has decided on to help guide our thinking and actions in the coming period. We do not want to overstate where our organization is at in our analysis and organizing, nor are these points a substitute for the hard discussions our organization still must have. These points developed out of reviews and discussions of the nature of the current period, the continuing wave of social protest domestically and abroad, and how we as a small and specific group of anarchist revolutionaries can participate in and help build those movements for dignity, justice and freedom.

5 reasons to steer clear of the Labour Party bandwagon

After a campaign that seemed to drag on endlessly in the wake of the general election, Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour Party leadership by a landslide. The most immediate consequence of this has been a surge in membership. Here are some reasons not to get caught up in the tide.

On America, part 4: I hate my job

When it comes to problems on the job, we're generally given few options: quit, vote, join a union. Here's why that's not good enough.

The final part in a series challenging some of the underlying assumptions of American political thought, earlier parts here, here, and here.

Lines of Work: Stories of Jobs and Resistance (review)

By Scott Nikolas Nappalos, ed. (Alberta, Canada: Black Cat Press, 2013). Review by Jared Davidson, first published in LHP Bulletin 64.