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trade unions

50 Years of Equal Exploitation?

29 May marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Equal Pay Act 1970, precipitated by the Ford sewing machinists’ strike in 1968 which started in Dagenham.

2020 strike handbook for UCU activists

This handbook provides advice which may be useful to branch execs, and other activists and campaign organisers, in organising strike action and associated campaigning. It was originally released ahead of the 2019 [UCU] strike days, and has been updated based on the experience of the 2019 action. This document was previously hosted by the UCU Branch Solidarity Network.

Workers in Stalin's Russia - Marie Louise Berneri

A short book written in 1944. Berneri outlines how socialism did not exist in the U.S.S.R. and how the lives of workers under state socialism was essentially the same as those who lived under capitalist democracies.

Strikes Against Pension Reform in France

Governments and bosses have divided the class, between “national” and “foreign” workers, young and old, public and private, all in the name of the so-called national interest. But workers in France have given an inspiration to workers everywhere.

“We feel that our strength is on the factory floor”: Dualism, shop-floor power, and labor law reform in late apartheid South Africa

Jay Naidoo speaking at the launch of Cosatu in Durban in 1985

This article explores the transformation of South African labor relations during the 1980s. An understandable desire to wield influence at the level of the national political economy eroded the tradition of workers’ control, shop floor democracy, and struggle unionism that black unions had forged during the 1970s and 1980s.

Rick Tuner and South Africa's Sixties

Rick Turner

This article examines the life and thought of South African radical philosopher Richard “Rick” Turner (1941–1978), a crucial figure in the 1973 anti-apartheid political conjuncture known as the “Durban Moment.” Though steeped in existentialist philosophy, Turner’s real contribution to New Left thought in South Africa came elsewhere. Turner’s receptivity to “Black Consciousness,” his vision of radical pedagogy, and his commitment to participatory democracy and “workers’ control” all made a deep imprint on Black working class mobilization and the birth of a democratic trade union movement in South Africa.

American Dream meets the Chinese Dream: A Nightmare on Fuyao Avenue

American Factory is a 2019 documentary, distributed by Netflix and produced by Higher Ground (production company owned by Barack and Michelle Obama).

USA: Overview of Auto Workers' Strike

The article here, from our ICT affiliate in the United States, evaluates the longest strike by US car workers in a decade. After six weeks, members of the United Auto Workers voted for the union’s deal with General Motors.

France: Following the SNCF Mechanics' Struggle, The Fight in the Hospitals Shows the Way

In spring 2019, a crisis on an unprecedented scale was sparked in French hospitals. The emergency services went on strike in massive numbers. Barely three months from its beginnings on 18 March, in the Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, it had spread to around a hundred establishments all across France by July. The movement will not stop spreading as long as the situation remains untenable. In September, the number of emergency services on strike was 239, or more than half of all services. This mobilisation has not died down and even rose to 267 services on strike in mid-October.

Class Struggle in China

The role of China in the imperialist pecking order has been covered many times on our website (leftcom.org). Here we deal with China’s evolution from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse which has also created the world’s largest working class – and what comes with that is, of course, simmering class conflict.