Working Class Self Organisation

Indian workers shut down seven mines and destroy bosses' offices

Following violent clashes over the decision to dismiss hundreds of unionised workers and replace them with unaffiliated workers, locals in the Odisha region of India have forced the closure of seven large open cast coal mines, and two railway stations. 1,000 local workers ransacked the management offices and fought running battles with workers who remain loyal to the bosses.

Over forty mining vehicles have been set on fire and destroyed, and railway tracks have been damaged to prevent the transportation of coal. Several hundred police officers have been drafted into the village to try and regain control.

Sussex and Birmingham Universities occupied

For the second time this year, Sussex University and Birmingham University have seen students occupy buildings on campus in protest against privatisation, outsourcing, lack of democracy, and tuition fees. The Sussex occupation will soon enter its fifth day, however, the students occupying the Aston Webb building in Birmingham have been forcibly evicted by the police and bailiffs, earlier today.

Sussex University
Over forty students are into the fourth day of an occupation of a building (Bramber House) at Sussex University, protesting against working practices at the university and against what they claim is the ‘privatisation’ of university services. Catering services are being sold off to a private company who are then seeing their terms and conditions stripped.

Chinese electronics workers win 20% pay rise after three week strike

A three week strike involving 5,000 workers at an electronics company in Shenzhen, China, has ended after the bosses agreed to a 20% hike in pay.

The strike started on the 31st October after the factory owners, ASM materials, announced – without consultation with the unions – that it would be relocating elements of its production outside of Shenzhen. Thousands of workers walked off the job, demanding a wage rise of 3,000 Yuan a month, and a compensation package for re-location.

Ground breaking strike shuts down university

Outsourced workers at the University of London are striking for equal rights and for recognition of the IWGB union. Their ‘3 Cosas’ (3 things) campaign is demanding equal sick pay, equal holidays, and equal pensions. They are also protesting against potential job losses following the closure of university buildings. They are striking on the 27th and 28th November.

Central buildings at the University of London are to be closed to the public today in the first official strike by outsourced staff in the university’s 170 year history.

Dispersing power: Social movements as anti-state forces - Raul Zibechi

Raul Zibechi is one of Latin America's leading political theorists. His, his first book translated into English, is a historical analysis of social struggles in Bolivia and the forms of community power instituted by that country's indigenous Aymara.

Dispersing Power offers new theoretical frameworks for understanding how social movements can and do operate independently of state-centered models for social change.

Horizontalism: Voices of popular power in Argentina - Marina Sitrin

Horizontalism is an oral history of the exciting transformations taking place since the popular rebellion. It is a story of cooperation, vision, creation and discovery. It is a history told by people in the various autonomous social movements, from the occupied factories, neighborhood assemblies, arts and independent media collectives, to the indigenous communities and unemployed workers movements.

The popular rebellion that began in December 2001 in Argentina with the IMF melt-down and subsequent capital flight sparked a process of creativity that continues to this day. Different from so many social movements of the past, this rebellion rejects political programs, opting instead to create directly democratic spaces on street corners, in factories, and throughout neighborhoods.

300 Turkish miners barricade themselves underground

300 miners across two shifts at a mine in the Black Sea area of Zonguldak have barricaded themselves underground in protest at atrocious health and safety. Turkey has the worst mine safety record across all of Europe, with 2,554 miners losing their lives since 1991. They have vowed to continue their protest until the demands have been met.

The protest was initiated by workers on the night shift , and then gained widespread support from those who were due to work the day shift. Around 2000 workers who did not wish to go underground have been conducting a protest outside the mine in solidarity with their colleagues.

Strikes and sit-ins at Chinese Nokia factory

Around 3,000 workers at a Nokia factory in Southern Guangdong have started a rolling programme of strikes and sit-ins to protest against the management who are bullying people into leaving their jobs.

Following a decision to sell its mobile phone division to Microsoft, Nokia bosses have made draconian changes to the staff rule book in what appears to be a deliberate ploy to force employees to leave their jobs in order to avoid paying them compensation when the inevitable job losses occur.

Walkouts at seven Walmart stores in Dallas

Workers have today walked off the job at seven branches of Walmart across Dallas. The workers then joined protests outside, demanding that workers are paid a minimum of $25,000 a year. The action organised by the ‘OUR Walmart’ campaign has been played down by company lickspittles, who claim that very few employees have been involved, and that busloads of pickets had been transported between stores to boost numbers.

These latest walkouts follow on from similar wildcat actions in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and Miami. They are planning more of the same on ‘Black Friday’, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, which signals the start of the Christmas shopping period.

A toadying Walmart spokesperson claimed that:

Clashes in Rome over high speed rail link

Hundreds of protesters opposed to the construction of a high speed rail link have clashed with police during a visit to Rome by the French President, Francios Hollande.

Protesters fought running battles with police as they tried to reach the French embassy where a meeting between Hollande and the Italian Prime Minster was due to take place. Opponents say that the $35 billion rail project between France & Italy will take over a decade to complete, will cause massive environmental damage, and will not serve any purpose.