Work

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Resistance and Organization in Postfordism: On the Attempt of a Militant Research of Precarious Labor

Robert Foltin


A tool for recognizing class composition[1] is the "militant research " (or "questionnaire" or "workers inquiry" or "joint research"), which is currently experiencing an astonishing comeback in various contexts. The con-ricerca, which emerged in Italy in the 1960s, was intended to recognize the technical composition of the working class, and to not only recognize its political composition or recomposition (in other words the workers battles and organization), but also to promote and influence it. Communication and mutual information among the workers were to be set in motion and, as it was once bombastically formulated by Wildcat (still as the city paper for Karlsruhe), to prepare "spontaneous" battles (Karlsruher Stadtzeitung reprint 1985).

Based on the experience that many small actions of resistance against the capitalist system occurred again and again, especially after the major student strike in spring 1996 in Vienna and Austria[2], a small group was founded in 1997 that called itself "Koordination". Its goal was to promote communication and information about the battles and to step out of the ghetto of the scene at the same time. The name was inspired by the "Coordinations" in France. These had formed in all the strikes since the mid-1980s and never became integrated in dominant structures. Leftist organizations attempted to introduce permanence into the Coordinations, but they did not allow themselves to become bureaucratized as the self-organization of the revolts. They vanished with the end of demonstrations and strikes, but reappeared again with every new confrontation and picked up from their previous experiences.

Our "Koordination" was intended to be a tool to make communication and information available to the "small" battles. To this end we produced a regularly published information bulletin and also made its contents available on the net, which additionally served as an information pool for radical leftist papers (such as TATblatt). Due to a lack of battles in Vienna, however, in the long term we limited ourselves to collecting international news.

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PRE-MAYDAY EVENT with the Industrial Workers of the World

SATURDAY APRIL 29

THE SQUARE OCCUPIED SOCIAL CENTRE - 21 Russell Square
London WC1

4 pm - WORKPLACE ORGANISING TRAINING

with Adam Lincoln, IWW dual carder and
experienced trade unionist

6pm - 80th anniversary commemoration of the 1926 GENERAL STRIKE
Presentation:
The bitter lock-out, Days of hope in the General Strike, and the betrayal by the TUC - Dave Douglass, NUM & Wobbly veteran

with cookies and Zapatista coffee

Organised by the LONDON IWW

Location

SQUARE OCCUPIED SOCIAL CENTRE

21 Russell Square

London WC1, LND

United Kingdom

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Call to Attend the First National Workers’ Gathering
Event to Be Held April 29 in Mexico City


By Unions with the Other Campaign and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation March 26, 2006
To the urban workers that have adhered to the Sixth Declaration and the Other Campaign

To the workers that fight and to all the exploited:

We the undersigned, members of the Other Campaign that is being developed across the country, invite you to the First National Workers’ Gathering, which will be held Saturday, April 29, in the offices of the National Union of Uniroyal Workers, located at 95 Lago Plava, Huichapan neighborhood, Mexico City, to meet with the following goals:

1. Prepare for our participation in the commemoration of International Workers’ Day, May 1, across the country, in what we will call “The Other May 1.”

2. Democratically discuss a plan of struggle to defeat charrismo (corrupt union leadership) in all its expressions in our union organizations.

3. Promote the formation of a democratic, class-conscious, fighting international organization throughout the Other Campaign that allows us to face the struggle against the bosses and their government — both the current administration and the one that will be elected this July 2.

4. Strengthen our struggles through the formation of currents or groups based in the unions, in order to reclaim our organizations from the hands of agents of the bosses, the charros and the neo-charros.

5. Rescue the basic principles of the working class and our political participation in the life of the country.

6. Discuss a platform of struggle that allows us to reestablish the true role of the workers in society, independently and through struggle, with very clear goals, where the independence of the working class to develop its own political participation prevails.

7. Strengthen our unity with the poor peasant farmers, the indigenous, the popular sectors, the women, the youth, and other exploited and oppressed sectors of the prevailing capitalist society in our country, which are the only allies we can count on.

8. Surround with solidarity the different struggles that many of our compañeros are developing across the county, and create the necessary links with workers of other nations.
This call is completely open to the workers in general and to whoever is interested in this initiative, as long as it will be the workers who enjoy the space to reflect and reach agreements.

Sincerely,

National Revolutionary Union of Hulera Euzkadi Company Workers

National Union of Uniroyal Workers

Workers’ Group from the National Union of General Tire Workers

Workers’ Group from the Hulera Tornel Company

San Luis Potosí Solidarity Front for the Defense of Labor Rights

University of Guadalajara Union of Academic Personnel

National United Front of Active, Retired and Pensioned National Social Security Institute (IMSS) Workers

Collective of Trade Unionists with the Sixth Declaration

Central Unitaria de Trabajadores

Socialist Workers’ Party

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

If interested speak to the hosts of the gathering in Mexico City by calling 5591-0168 or 5703-2244, or by writing to posmex@prodigy.net.mx or
agnmex@yahoo.com.mx

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LIBERTARIAN BOOK CLUB / ANARCHIST FORUM

ALTERNATIVE WORKER ORGANIZING and THE CRISIS IN THE LABOR MOVEMENT

panelists from Workers Solidarity Alliance; Industrial Workers of the World; Make the Road by Walking; Million Worker March

On Tuesday, March 14, at 7:30pm, the Libertarian Book Club's Anarchist Forum
will present a panel of rank and file labor group members who will describe
their response to the current crisis in the U.S. labor movement. This crisis
is one in which the established unions continue to decline in membership
and the recent controversies in the official labor movement have done
little to show a new way forward. At the same time the power of the workers
on the job and in society in general continues to decrease.

The panel will also present alternative ways of worker organizing that can
restore the power of the labor movement. Recent experiences with immigrant
workers in Brooklyn, with the Starbucks organizing campaign and with
rank-and-file struggles among auto workers and in other sectors around the
country have shown that workers can organize without bureaucracy and as an
integral part of a struggle within the community for justice and equity.
The panelists will draw on their recent experiences and place them in the
larger context of the needed changes in the labor movmenet today.

After the presentation the panel will have an extensive open discussion
among themselves and with the audience about the state of the labor
movement and strategies for the future.

The event will take place at the Brecht Forum, 451 West Street,
Manhattan (between Bank and Bethune streets) (212-242-4201).
Take an A, C, E, or L train to the 14th Street and 8th Avenue subway stop
or take a 1, 2, or 3 train to the 14th Street and 7th Avenue stop.

Everybody is welcome and invited to come and to have their say.
Admission is free for the presentation, but a contribution to aid the LBC is
suggested.

If you have questions, contact the LBC /Anarchist Forum, 212-979-8353 or
e-mail: roberterler@erols.com .

Mathew G.H Toll writes:


"Australian Neo-Liberals Let Their Agenda Slip"

Matthew G.H. Toll


Senator Nick Minchin, leading member of the Australian federal government has been taped during a private meeting advocating further industrial relations reform if the liberal party is re-elected into another term.

"The fact is the great majority of Australians do not support what we are doing on industrial relations, they violently disagree," said Senator Minchin to HR Nicholls Society, a far-right wing group intent of the dissolution of the current IR system in favour a ‘flexible system’. Amounting to an IR system where workers rights effectively mean ‘take it or leave it’, lowering minimum wages and conditions.

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Union Scores Big Victory Against Starbucks at Labor Board

Coffee Giant Must Rehire Fired Baristas and Rescind National Anti-Union
Policies

New York, NY- The IWW Starbucks Workers Union won a watershed victory
yesterday in the first National Labor Relations Board conflict over
unfair labor practices between the world's largest coffee chain and the
baristas who work there. Faced with the prospect of having its
widespread union-busting campaign exposed in a public hearing, Starbucks
agreed to remedy all of the myriad violations committed against workers
who have organized a union.

"We hope Starbucks' decision to settle reflects a strategic assessment
to cease what has been a relentless anti-union campaign and accept the
right of baristas to gain a voice on the job by joining together," said
Laura De Anda, one of the union members that prevailed in the
proceedings. "The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is here to stay."

Some highlights of the National Labor Relations Board settlement with
Starbucks include:

· The reinstatement of IWW members, Sarah Bender and Anthony Polanco,
who had been discharged for their union activity in order to discourage
other workers from making a free and fair choice about whether to join
the union.

· The invalidation of Starbucks' national policy that prohibited the
sharing of written union information and joining the union on company
property.

· The invalidation of Starbucks' national no-pin policy. Workers had
been banned from wearing IWW pins and had been sent home from work
without pay for refusing to take them off.

· An agreement by Starbucks to end threats, bribes, and surveillance of
union members.

· What would have been a hefty monetary penalty against Starbucks was
reduced because the IWW assisted its discharged members in obtaining
other employment which mitigates damages under the National Labor
Relations Act. Still, the company will pay out almost $2,000.

· And much more. To view the settlement agreement go
here.

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Month of Strike Action Spreads to Call Center, Burger King, Wellington

The Pizza Hut and KFC national call center, the first Burger King
stores and the first Wellington fast food store, joined the
SuperSizeMyPay.Com month of industrial action last night.

SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign co-ordinator, Simon Oosterman, said that the actions were a part of an escalating month of industrial action in the fast food industry leading up to the 'BigPayOut.co.nz'
demonstration and free concert on Saturday, 18th of March.

"In central Auckland, 60 call center workers, who take delivery orders for KFC and Pizza Hut nation-wide, went on strike. The striking
workers called on customers who were ordering pizzas on the 0800 83 83 83 number to say a message of support, and kept the strike to an hour to minimise disruption to customers," he said.

"The call center workers, who are a part of the SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign, but who have a different contract to the fast food stores, are asking for a training rate of $11 and $12.50 after 3 months as well as a 50% discount on Restaurant Brands food.

"In west Auckland, workers from two fast food stores became the first ever striking Burger King workers in New Zealand. The workers took action despite a memo sent from their head office falsely claiming that they would be fired if they took industrial action.

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Historic find in Bisbee courthouse

from KVOA


A woman who works at the Cochise County Courthouse stumbled upon original
documents that may reveal history pertaining to the Bisbee Deportations of
1917.

Fran Ranaccelli says she found a box full of the documents in the evidence
room of the county courthouse, "As I looked it said 1917, I.W.W. and I
just froze."

The box contains documents including witness affidavits, and subpoenas of
the court case that followed the round up of more than 1200 miners in
Bisbee after they went on a strike citing improper working conditions.

The miners who were members of the International Workers of the World were
rounded up and put on a train and then transported to Columbus, New Mexico
where they were abandoned on July 12, 1917. Two days later U.S. troops
rescued the men.

UA Vice Provost and Historian Dr. Juan Garcia says finding these documents
may offer a painful insight into Arizona history during World War I.

"Nativism and hysteria generated by war can lead people to do things that
they normally wouldn't do," Garcia said.

The documents are the first original items from the Bisbee Deportation to
be found at the Cochise County courthouse.

Superior Court Clerk Denise Lundin says the documents will become archived.

"We're finding history and we're looking at a document signed by a person
who's long dead, who really tells us a story through those documents,"
Lundin says.

University of Arizone web archive on Bisbee deportations

THE REAL RIGHTS TOUR

March 26 - April 4, 2006

Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Allies Gear Up for McDonald's Truth Tour 2006


Major Rally April 1st, Chicago, IL

WHERE: From Immokalee to Chicago (home of McDonald’s) and points in
between, including Louisville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Ann
Arbor, Madison, South Bend, and more!

WHO: You – and farmworkers from Immokalee. If you’d like to join us in
Chicago or you live along the route, contact us to see how you can
participate, at workers@ciw-online.org

CIW members organizing for the "Real Rights Tour" at a recent remote
broadcast of the CIW's low-power radio station "Radio Conciencia" in
Immokalee.

WHAT: Farmworkers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and their
allies will travel by caravan from Immokalee, FL, home of one of the
largest farmworker communities in the country, to Chicago, IL, home of the
world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s.

On April 1st – the fifth anniversary of the launch of the successful Taco
Bell Boycott – the caravan will be joined by supporters from throughout
the region for a major rally in Chicago, where they will call on the
fast-food giant McDonald’s to work with the CIW and help establish real
labor rights for the workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald’s suppliers.

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Why striking bus drivers in Tehran are the real defenders of Muslim rights

by Nick Cohen

from The Guardian


For three weeks, there have been demonstrations across the planet about a great injustice done to Muslims. After baton-wielding cops inflicted dozens of injuries, the fear of death is in the air. George W Bush's State Department has warned of 'systematic oppression', while secularists and fundamentalists have revealed their mutually incompatible values. Since you ask, I am not talking about the global menace of Scandinavian cartoonists that has so terrified our fearless free press, but mass arrests in Iran.

The media have barely mentioned the story, even though it cuts through the nonsense about a clash of civilisations between the 'West' and the 'Muslims'. The Muslims of Tehran are proving themselves to be anything but a monolithic bloc happy to follow the orders of the ayatollahs and their demented President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There are huge class divisions to begin with, and close to the bottom of the heap are the city's bus drivers. The authorities refused to allow them an independent trade union and ruled that an 'Islamic council' in the offices of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company would represent their interests. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pious have not proved the doughtiest fighters for better pay and conditions. The bus drivers claimed that managers were stealing money from their pay packets. They formed their own union and threatened to strike at the end of January.

Ahmadinejad won the rigged Iranian elections last year with a promise to stand up for the little man against the Islamic Republic's corrupt elite. Faced with a choice between sticking to his word and carrying on with despotism, he showed his true colours by allowing the most ferocious crackdown Tehran has seen since the religious authorities crushed dissident journalists and students in 1999.

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