workplace activity

Standing still at the starter's pistol: lacklustre resistance in the TEFL industry

A good while back, I wrote a blog post about contract issues at the English language school I work at and the attempts of us teachers to organise ourselves. Now that everything has died down and I've had time to think about it, I thought I’d try and write up what happened.

Basically it was a big fucking disaster. On our part as teachers, we completely failed to organise ourselves effectively. However, I'm a big fan of the idea that 'no experiment is a failure' and even when things go badly, there is something to be learnt for the next time round.

Strategy for industrial struggle - Mark Fore

Strategy for Industrial Struggle

This pamphlet was published by Solidarity (London) in May 1971. The years 1970-72 saw industrial struggle in the UK reach levels which hadn't been seen since the 1920s. This pamphlet set out alternatives to traditional strike strategy.


The aim of this pamphlet is to help along the discussion now going on amongst industrial militants about a more flexible and imaginative approach to industrial struggle.

A New Workers Movement in the US: A proposal for a refoundation through the intermediate level

Using the concept of the intermediate level, an exploration of what a new workers movement in the US might entail.

It’s a tired truism that the workers movement in the US is floundering without a real base or path forward. A new generation of experimentation, struggle, and militants emerged from the ashes of the union’s most recent collaborationist strategy of labor-management partnership, contractualism, and labor’s historical parochialism of our-jobs-for-us.

Thrown off balance: workers struggles against equilibrium

A response to a debate on unions in the United States today started between a number of groups and individuals including Unity & Struggle and Advance the Struggle. This piece attempts to argue against militant reformism growing in the union movements towards a politic of ruptures and revolutionary workplace organizing drawing from the concept of equilibrium.

Recently a debate has arisen around the nature of workers, workers’ struggles, and unions amongst the broad libertarian or autonomist left[1]. The aftermath of Occupy in the United States has corresponded to a number of happenings that have pushed unions to the center of debate.

Working at Artistry Bakery and Cafe - Madaline Dreyfus

In this article, Madaline tells the story of how she fell into organizing and the IWW – pushed both by terrible bosses and by amazing solidarity among her coworkers.

If the first week of work at Artistry Bakery and Cafe was any indication, there was no way this four-month experience should ever have resulted in two of the strongest friendships in my life. I was introduced on the first day to a group of men and women, mostly about University age, who were also going to be working with me at the restaurant.

A moving story: with afterword - Jocelyn Cohn and James Frey

In 2012, workers at a small moving company in New York City rose up against bad pay and dangerous work conditions. In the course of the struggle, much was revealed about how exploitation operates; how the enticements of 'self-expression' and a 'laid back' atmosphere serve to weaken consciousness and collective action. At the same time, this history reveals the opportunities and limits that workers face within self-organized struggles in a small business format. This is an updated version with a new 2013 afterward by the original author.

In the Summer of 2012 the exploited workers at Rabbit Movers autonomously organized our shop and began the fight for control over the conditions of our lives. This is one worker’s account of how it all went down.

“They Just Run Us Into The Ground...”

Punching out - Martin Glaberman

Seminal text by Marty Glaberman detailing his experiences of wildcat strikes and union policing of the workforce during the heyday of the UAW in Detroit's auto factories.

Not long ago two men in a Detroit auto plant were discussing their steward. Both had known him for long years. They had worked together in the same department when the shop was unionized in 1937. None of them were very active in the union but all three were among the first to join.

An injury to one – fighting the victimisation of workplace organisers

Victimisation, by bosses and the state, of those who try to organise in the workplace is nothing new. But recently a spate of high profile cases have focused wider attention on the issue.

Last year, William Hill bookmakers announced plans to extend their Sunday opening hours. As they already have over long shifts, forced overtime and the generally shitty end of the stick when it comes to working conditions1

  • 1. Not the least of which seems to be a callous attitude to the mental health of those whose shops get robbed.

‘Silent grinding, bit by bit’: in the occupation at the University of Sussex

Staff show their opposition to outsourcing

An interview with Maia Pal, a tutor and member of the 2012-13 anti-privatisation campaign at the University of Sussex.

Jeffery R. Webber interviews Maia Pal. March 3, 2013.

JRW: I’m here at the University of Sussex on February 28, 2013 with Maia Pal. To start off, do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Sussex?

Manifesto of the fast food worker - Socialist Alternative (U.S.)

Actor Kevin Spacey in the film 'American Beauty'.

The U.S. organization Socialist Alternative's text on the fast food industry, written in the wake of an organising drive at Pizza Hut in 2003. Though insightful, we disagree with the politics of the authors, Tony Wilsdon and Brent Gaspaire.