Germany: Bicycle plant under workers control

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David in Atlanta
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Sep 20 2007 13:10
Germany: Bicycle plant under workers control

Hamburg/Nordhausen, 19th of September in 2007:
Staff of occupied bicycle factory in the Thuringian Nordhausen take up production in self-management again
The 135 colleagues of the bicycle factory Bike Systems GmbH in the Thuringian Nordhausen, who keep the factory occupied since 10th of July 2007, decided to resume the production of bicycles in self-management. For this aim 1,800 binding orders on bicycles must be received till 2nd of October. So the collegues are working together with the anarcho-syndicalist union FAU (Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union – Free Workers-Union), which formed for this campaign the internetpage www.strike-bike.de.
Since more than two month the staff keep the factory in the south of Harz Mountains in three shifts occupied. They want to prevent the definite dismantling and sale of the factory. The file for bankruptcy from 10th of august is against long odds: The factory is exploited and ran down, the hall was emptied except for the coating line. The staff receives unemployment compensation and hopes for a new concept and a new investor.

The „Strike Bike“ - Solidarity-Bikes from Nordhausen
In the time of occupation and in the wake of discussions during the visits of solidary people, the colleagues of the factory developed the idea to initially take up the production in self-management for a short time. Because it's not the point to only prevent the evacuation of the last machines and to wait for a new investor, the idea of an own ”Strike-Bike“ meet with more and more response. Now the opportunity arises to show the ability to develop an own concept and to self-manage production and distribution.
If it goes well to collect 1,800 advance orders for the bicycles produced in self-direction, we spread solidary ideas and bolster the colleagues in similar situations, not to let themselves easily being restructured to zero. By whomsoever!
The staff gets assistancy by the solidary members of anarcho-syndicalist union Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union (Free workers-union), which will become active in whole germany to spread the knowledge of the struggle of the bycicle-workers and to support the sale of the „Strike-Bike“.
More Informations can be received at: www.strike-bike.de
for background informations and history of the occupation www.labournet.de/branchen/sonstige/fahrzeug/bikesystems.html

To get in contact with the staff and to take orders

»Bikes in Nordhausen e.V.«
c/o. André Kegel,
Bruno-Kunze-Str. 39 - 99734 Nordhausen
Telefon: 03631 - 622 124 and 03631 - 403 591
Fax: 03631 - 622 170
eMail: fahrradwerk@gmx.de

For further informations about the campaign of the FAU-„Strike Bike“-Solidaritygroup:
Spokesperson:
Folkert Mohrhof
- mobile 0179-4863252 and ...
respectively monday till friday from 10 am till 3 pm:
+49 40 - 20 90 68 96

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Tacks
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Sep 20 2007 15:32

i just got a mail about this.

Pretty groovy.

Any of the workers in the FAU?

David in Atlanta
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Sep 20 2007 18:50

I don't know. I haven't seen him posting in a while but maybe robot will answer

thepamphleteer
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Sep 21 2007 04:16

Actually none of the workers is FAU but FAU is actually supporting them and actually setting up a campaign to sell the bikes produced in self-management. Guess you'll get news soon...

thepamphleteer
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Sep 21 2007 04:23

Wow, that actually made three 'actuallies' in an actually quite short sentence Mr. T . Sorry, just came home from nightshift...

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madashell
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Sep 21 2007 11:45
thepamphleteer wrote:
Actually none of the workers is FAU but FAU is actually supporting them and actually setting up a campaign to sell the bikes produced in self-management. Guess you'll get news soon...

So out of curiosity, what union, if any, are they in?

David in Atlanta
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Sep 21 2007 11:51

From what i could glean from the German coverage, they're IG Metall

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OliverTwister
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Sep 21 2007 16:41

I'd like to get more info about this. I'm looking at getting a new bike anyways, but there's also a worker-owned bike shop out here in Berkeley and a bike shop in Baltimore with lots of IWW members, both of which might be interested in ordering bikes.

Using a google translation i see two prices, 200 euros and 275 euros, but don't know what either of them are for.

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OliverTwister
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Sep 21 2007 16:45

I'd like to get more info about this. I'm looking at getting a new bike anyways, but there's also a worker-owned bike shop out here in Berkeley and a bike shop in Baltimore with lots of IWW members, both of which might be interested in ordering bikes.

Using a google translation i see two prices, 200 euros and 275 euros, but don't know what either of them are for.

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jef costello
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Sep 21 2007 16:53

Oliver, I think the price of shipping might make them a bit more expensive than that.

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Tacks
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Sep 22 2007 11:18

lol grin

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Tacks
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Sep 22 2007 11:26

then again, i've seen bikes in shops here which were made in the US. A big enough order might make it worthwhile; the question is do we want to ship easily locally sourced things like bikes half way across the planet?

si
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Sep 22 2007 16:20
Tacks wrote:
then again, i've seen bikes in shops here which were made in the US. A big enough order might make it worthwhile; the question is do we want to ship easily locally sourced things like bikes half way across the planet?

yes. hippy.

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madashell
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Sep 22 2007 16:51
Tacks wrote:
then again, i've seen bikes in shops here which were made in the US. A big enough order might make it worthwhile; the question is do we want to ship easily locally sourced things like bikes half way across the planet?

For fucks sake, do you have to be so negative? wink

Seriously, these people need our support, now is not the time to start moralising at them about the carbon footprint of their workplace actions.

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Bubbles
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Sep 22 2007 18:48
OliverTwister wrote:
I'd like to get more info about this. I'm looking at getting a new bike anyways, but there's also a worker-owned bike shop out here in Berkeley and a bike shop in Baltimore with lots of IWW members, both of which might be interested in ordering bikes.

Using a google translation i see two prices, 200 euros and 275 euros, but don't know what either of them are for.

thats alot of US $ comrade.

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Tacks
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Sep 22 2007 20:22
madashell wrote:
Tacks wrote:
then again, i've seen bikes in shops here which were made in the US. A big enough order might make it worthwhile; the question is do we want to ship easily locally sourced things like bikes half way across the planet?

For fucks sake, do you have to be so negative? wink

Seriously, these people need our support, now is not the time to start moralising at them about the carbon footprint of their workplace actions.

in this case, i'm not.

It was more of a question, and definitely not having a go at people wh wanna buy one in the US.

petey
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Sep 22 2007 22:19

E200 = US280

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OliverTwister
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Sep 23 2007 00:46

I know the conversion, and I know that shipping would cost a lot.

What i'm asking is what the numbers mean - is 200 for bulk, and 275 for singular orders?...

petey
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Sep 23 2007 01:01

sorry...

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Devrim
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Sep 23 2007 06:23
Quote:
Seriously, these people need our support...

And how long are you going to support them? In ten years will the anarchists still be trying to flog this company's bikes? It would be pretty cool for a company to be able to recruit a political movement as an advertising agency.

This has nothing to do with class struggle.

Devrim

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OliverTwister
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Sep 23 2007 06:37

I'm a cynic, but to say it has 'nothing to do with class struggle' seems a bit of an overreaction.

If the employer wanted to close the factory and ship production overseas, and the state was going to aid this,how can you possibly claim that it has nothing to do wit hthe class struggle for workers to fight back and prevent this?

Obviously we should always have in mind that self-management is only a valid slogan if we mean self-management of the struggle and not of the exploitation, but these are hardly some hippies who decided to simply set up a workers coop, this is a very small thing but it does not have 'nothing to do with class struggle'.

Oliver

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Devrim
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Sep 23 2007 06:44

As I see it from the press release above there was some real class struggle.
Now they have decided to start their own business.
That 'has nothing to do with class struggle'.
Devrim

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OliverTwister
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Sep 23 2007 07:07

The information implies that it is temporary.

If they are defending the factory, they still have to eat in the mean-time.

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Devrim
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Sep 23 2007 07:20
OliverTwister wrote:
The information implies that it is temporary.

If they are defending the factory, they still have to eat in the mean-time.

Reread

Quote:
In the time of occupation and in the wake of discussions during the visits of solidary people, the colleagues of the factory developed the idea to initially take up the production in self-management for a short time. Because it's not the point to only prevent the evacuation of the last machines and to wait for a new investor, the idea of an own ”Strike-Bike“ meet with more and more response. Now the opportunity arises to show the ability to develop an own concept and to self-manage production and distribution.

Devrim

tigersiskillers
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Sep 23 2007 09:53
OliverTwister wrote:
I know the conversion, and I know that shipping would cost a lot.

What i'm asking is what the numbers mean - is 200 for bulk, and 275 for singular orders?...

Yep, that's it:

Quote:
price for individual orders: 275 € (incl. purchase tax and dispatch)

resale price: 200 € (incl. dispatch)

http://www.strike-bike.de/1/index.php?page=rad&hl=en_US

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OliverTwister
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Sep 23 2007 15:42

I take your point Devrim.

I still don't think it has nothing to do with class struggle, because class struggle (almost) always comes with compromises.

Anyways maybe Naomi Klein can make a movie about it...

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Tacks
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Sep 24 2007 00:36
Devrim wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
The information implies that it is temporary.

If they are defending the factory, they still have to eat in the mean-time.

Reread

Quote:
In the time of occupation and in the wake of discussions during the visits of solidary people, the colleagues of the factory developed the idea to initially take up the production in self-management for a short time. Because it's not the point to only prevent the evacuation of the last machines and to wait for a new investor, the idea of an own ”Strike-Bike“ meet with more and more response. Now the opportunity arises to show the ability to develop an own concept and to self-manage production and distribution.

Devrim

you have completely lost me here.

The strike to start with = class struggle.
The self managed co-op = nothing to do with it.

So: a strike over job losses, pay, conditions etc with the ultimate goal of winning improved conditions from the bosses is more progressive than something which aims to partially eliminate the bosses?

Is it 'not class struggle' as long as they exchange things for a profit?

I take it everyone on Ebay is bourgoise?

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Devrim
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Sep 24 2007 06:24
Tacks wrote:
So: a strike over job losses, pay, conditions etc with the ultimate goal of winning improved conditions from the bosses is more progressive than something which aims to partially eliminate the bosses?

You can't build socialism in one bicycle factory. This is something which aims at becoming the bosses.

Devrim

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Devrim
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Sep 24 2007 06:25
Tacks wrote:
Is it 'not class struggle' as long as they exchange things for a profit?

Of course.
Devrim

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Sep 24 2007 07:31
Tacks wrote:
I take it everyone on Ebay is bourgoise?

pretty much.

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Tacks
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Sep 24 2007 15:12

oh wow grin