Union Solidarity

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Skraeling
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Oct 16 2006 04:13
Union Solidarity

Does anyone know anything about Union Solidarity, the Melbourne based group?

from what i read on their website, they seem very tame leftists but at the same time seem to represent something a little different. My main questions are: why are they only in Melbourne? and is their tactic of community support for strikes a way of getting around Howard's anti-strike legislation or just simply old fashioned solidarity?

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jason
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Oct 17 2006 04:11

I don't know anything about it, I just checked that link though. Looks like a broad coalition of leftist type groups. We had something similar in Brisbane years ago but I forget what it was called - some broad alliance with the aim of linking up different unions. It was attended by people from various unions but usually also members of some Leninist/Trot organisation and a few wobs. It was quite small and not much happened with it.

Quote:
why are they only in Melbourne?

AFAIK Melbourne is just more politicaly active in general. Its home to the biggest anarchist groups and the longest running IWW group, for example.

Quote:
is their tactic of community support for strikes a way of getting around Howard's anti-strike legislation or just simply old fashioned solidarity?

Good question. My initial feeling is a bit of both.

Skraeling
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Oct 17 2006 23:17
jason wrote:
I don't know anything about it, I just checked that link though. Looks like a broad coalition of leftist type groups. We had something similar in Brisbane years ago but I forget what it was called - some broad alliance with the aim of linking up different unions. It was attended by people from various unions but usually also members of some Leninist/Trot organisation and a few wobs. It was quite small and not much happened with it.

Thanks Jason. That sounds about right. I know next to nothing about Union Solidarity too but I heard they also include church groups as well as Leninists and other leftists. So might be a case of one of those broad coalitions trying to appeal to everyone and ending up pleasing no one. But then again they seem to have done some good solidarity work with strikes.

My initial reaction to Union Solidarity was that i would prefer to see a group doing solidarity with workers rather than solidarity with unions.

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why are they only in Melbourne?

Jason wrote:
AFAIK Melbourne is just more politicaly active in general. Its home to the biggest anarchist groups and the longest running IWW group, for example.

Yup, but if Union Solidarity has taken off in Melbourne, and been a little bit popular, I would expect it to be tried out in other cities.

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jason
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Oct 17 2006 23:54
Quote:
So might be a case of one of those broad coalitions trying to appeal to everyone and ending up pleasing no one. But then again they seem to have done some good solidarity work with strikes.

Sounds OK if their goal is just to provide strike support.

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My initial reaction to Union Solidarity was that i would prefer to see a group doing solidarity with workers rather than solidarity with unions.

I like this idea better though. How would you see this working in practice?

bastarx
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Oct 18 2006 03:28
jason wrote:
I like this idea better though. How would you see this working in practice?

Something like this looks good:
http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/marxmakhno.html

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jason
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Oct 18 2006 05:25

Interesting stuff. I suspect you could get the numbers up for something similar in Melbourne, but around here it would take some time.

Skraeling
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Oct 19 2006 00:22
Peter wrote:
jason wrote:
I like this idea better though. How would you see this working in practice?

Something like this looks good:
http://home.earthlink.net/~lrgoldner/marxmakhno.html

Yup something like that is exactly what i had in mind. I think you could pull off something like Solidarity Collective of Paris if you had about half a dozen to a dozen people committed to it, i imagine you could do it in a small town if you had that.

anna x
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Oct 19 2006 01:13

You can count me in. So that's two in Brisbane...Something like this could work in the case of the exploited welders in Ipswich that you(Jason)posted about. A bit of direct action pressure on companies that use this workplace's goods could in turn add pressure to the company exploiting these foreign workers...Any thoughts?

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jason
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Oct 19 2006 02:03

For a place like Brisbane you would need a dozen plus people atleast to avoid burn out. We are a long way from that at the moment. We need to speak to libcommers who have started with just a few people and see how they built on that and what went right and wrong, etc, etc.