It looks like the IR nut-jobs in the Coalition are refining their political strategy to keep working people down. Peter Reith has called for a broad-based inquiry into union behaviour and governance. The IR nut-jobs have clearly learned from the WorkChoices but it was clearly not the message that a majority of Australians were attempting to teach (you know the one about taking rights at work seriously). Instead, the idea is to use an inquiry of some description such as a Royal Commission to fundamentally weaken the independent organising capacity of the union movement. All with the added sweetener of ensuring complete corporate dominance of the hundreds of billions of dollars of workers’ capital in industry superannuation funds. Continue reading
The #Walmartstrike on Black Friday was an historic moment for the global labour movement. It represents the public coming out of the synthesis of occupy direct action tactics and sustainable union structures to produce a direct unionism that has the capacity to overturn corporate hegemony.
Corporate USA, especially in the retail sector, had an extremely effective strategy for ensuring their underpaid staff don’t come together in a representative union structure. This anti-union induction video for Walmart competitor, Target, is a striking example of the strategy:
For the global emancipation of labour: new movements and struggles around work, workers and precarity
The latest edition of Interface, a journal for and about social movements, is out. This edition concentrates on global labour movements, and the rise of the struggle against precarity. You can check out my article on direct unionism and a whole host of other goodness, including but not limited to Elise Thorburn and Peter Waterman.
Check it all out here.
Now the ongoing travelling circus of US Presidential politics is taking a 5-minute coffee break, we can all go back to pondering the big questions again (that is until we get the latest news on whether 2016 will be a Clinton-Bush contest). For me that means thinking about the links between (a) the capitalist economy as we know it, (b) the operating of an increasingly authoritarian state/corporate security apparatus, and as such (c) strategies for resistance and renewal. Continue reading
In the State of Victoria, local democracy is no longer local or particularly democratic. It is the plaything of soft-money politics and corporate control – where even the pretense of truly democratic values are no legally enshrined. It’s kind of like a Lilliputian version of America Votes 2012, where less charismatic versions of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama do battle but which ever candidate wins corporate control is victorious. And so voting closed on Friday October 26 2012 over an election campaign that history is likely to recycle again in four years. Continue reading
I, like an ever decreasing number of my fellow Australians, am a frustrated member of a mainstream political party.
In the usual run of affairs being a member of a political party involves three modes: being ignored, being used or just plain being pissed on. The common thread running through all three modes is that you are the pawn of some ‘great’ man (let’s face it they usually are men) using you to maintain their own control of the chessboard and ‘win’ the game. Continue reading
Without a strategy, you become part of someone else’s strategy. I think this is a pretty apt description of what has happened to the broader Left for the past 30 years. The neo-liberal Right has had a very clear strategy – restructuring the State so that it serves entrenched corporate interests. Whereas some sections of the broader Left have maintained their ideological purity but been pushed to the margins, and other sections have been reduced to campaigning furiously for the guys that at least claim to be implementing neo-liberal policy either at a slower pace or with a human face. Continue reading
As we build up the membership continuum, this post will move to the first type of membership for those who are in paid work – minority membership. Continue reading
After giving a brief outline of how the union movement can summon up the resources to fight and win technologically, I’d like to move back to the membership continuum. The campaign subscriber is of no real innovation if you’ve ever signed an internet petition or donated online to a cause. It’s pretty standard campaigning stuff. Unions, you know, just need to actually do it. It’s the second step where things have the capacity to get really interesting – that’s the community membership. Continue reading