Organising At Work: How Activists Can Build A Union From Scratch

Call centre workers from across Britain came together at a meeting at last month’s CWU conference. The meeting was unlike most others at the conference, with many of the participants far younger than the average delegate, and most at firms that do not recognise the union.

Nevertheless, the picture of how activists are recruiting included stories of great creativity in the face of bosses that are determined to keep call centres union-free zones.

For obvious reasons, activists’ names have been changed. Continue reading

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Britain Today: Solidarity proves crucial as sacked workers achieve Total victory

Total workers have won a stunning victory to beat back bosses’ attacks on their unions. Continue reading

Britain Today: Lindsey is a battleground for the future of the unions

by Simon Basketter in Lincolnshire

There is a war going on in the construction industry, and its outcome will affect us all. Continue reading

Britain Today: A Look At The Recent Factory Occupations in London

April 2009

Hundreds of workers occupy three Visteon car manufacturing factories in Britain after the management closed them down, laying off the entire workforce with no notice, violating their contracts. This is reminiscent of the factory occupations of the 1970s.

Read full article here:
http://www.socialist.net/visteon-work…

The above is a lesson in the importance of organisation in the workplace and worker solidarity. See Organising at Work: How Activists can build a Union from scratch

Which Way Venezuela?

By Michael Albert

The diverse factual reports and other data included in this article are culled from documents made available by the Venezuelan Embassy in the U.S.

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is exciting and exemplary, yet few people know much about where Venezuela is headed.

Misrepresentations abound. Data is limited and people interpret it in quite contrary ways. Information deficit plus skewed interpretations cause many people who ought to support the Bolivarian Revolution to instead doubt or even reject it. Useful lessons from Venezuela go largely unreported and thus have less than their widest possible effect.

Overview

Hugo Chavez became President in 1999 and in that year, largely due to the ravages of neoliberal reforms in the 80s and 90s, the Venezuelan poverty rate had reached 50%. The aim and promise of Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution was to not only eliminate rampant, raging, poverty, but to attain a new economic and social system consistent with the highest standards of human fulfillment and development.

In the 1999 constitution, Article 299, for example, emphasizes “human development” as the cornerstone of social judgements and Article 70 states that the “involvement of people in the exercise of their social and economic affairs should be manifest through citizen service organs, self-management, co-management, cooperatives in all forms, community enterprises, as well as other kinds of associations guided by the values of mutual cooperation and solidarity.”

But, as many skeptics would point out, words are not deeds, and you can find nice words everywhere – including, say, in the constitutions of countries suffering dictatorship and economic and social injustice, as but one example, in the constitution and other literary organs of the the Soviet Union under Stalin.

Words matter some, but they become infinitely more important and reliable as evidence if there are deeds in their support and particularly if institutional relations breathe life into the words every day.

So what about deeds? Continue reading

The Colombian Provocation

On Saturday 1st March, the Colombian Armed Forces violated the territory of Ecuador. The immediate aim was to kill the second in command of the FARC guerrillas; a second aim probably was to provoke division and disputes between the nations of Latin America. Instead, a Latin American summit meeting left President Uribe of Colombia isolated and almost humiliated, and the feeling for Latin American integration strengthened.

Colombia is, for the moment, an exception to the general move away from right-wing governments in South America. President Uribe, Continue reading