Unions & politics

Workers' Liberty 3/3: Factory bulletins from the early communist movement and today

Whole publication as pdf Introduction: agitate, educate, organise Producing Tubeworker Leafleting on the Manchester Ship Canal "Workers can't write newspapers? Really? Just tell us some news about your factory" Essential tools (by Leon Trotsky) Extracts from a factory newspaper (Germany, early 1920s) A factory bulletin by Vladimir Lenin "Factory newspapers riled the employers from the beginning" Images from the factory bulletins

Going on the offensive

The socialist left in Britain, including us, were so invested in the Corbyn project and are still so disoriented from the December 2019 election defeat that we fail to notice what's before our faces. That, for the first time since the Poll Tax revolt, our class is on the offensive.

Labour movement activists on why we must take over the banks

The 2019 TUC Congress passed a proposal from the Fire Brigades Union for “public ownership of the big banks, which could play a central role in building a sustainable economy, investing in a publicly owned energy sector and creating decent, unionised jobs in the interests of working people”. No one opposed the motion – but very few are actually advocating or campaigning for this. Here we quote a range of labour movement activists and representatives on why it is so essential. In the current situation, as we face an implosion of credit and a snowballing slump, against the background of the...

The job battles to come

Government figures say 27% of workers went on the official furlough scheme in late March and early April. The government is to cover 80% of their wages, and employer may or may not make up the other 20%. The scheme is due to end on 30 June. The government says it will be “tapered off”, not ended suddenly. The chief driver of Boris Johnson’s “back to work tomorrow” announcement on 10 May looks to have been the government’s wish to reduce its furlough bills, and avoid further bills for its (lavish) aid to big business and (now increased) aid to small business. The government also wants to...

Stop the Tories' back-to-work lurch!

On 10 May Boris Johnson called on construction and manufacturing bosses to force workers back into workplaces. Without union agreements for safe working. Without making PPE supplies adequate even for hospitals, GPs, and care homes, let alone for other workplaces. Without full isolation pay rights for workers. Without a track-and-trace policy for the virus even being sketched. Without a sustained drop in infections. Johnson dressed it up as "encouragement" to individuals to go into work. Furloughed workers in construction and manufacturing have not opted out individually. Their sites and...

Nationalism or class solidarity?

Fire Brigades Union activist and National Officer Riccardo la Torre spoke to Sacha Ismail. *** Yesterday we had “Victory in Europe” day, and a lot of nationalism. What are your thoughts on it? Well, first off I’m angry that workers are dying because they’re at work and aren’t given proper protection, and yet the same “leaders” responsible want us waving Union Jacks. There’s immediate reasons to be angry too, because the day itself created a lot of unsafe conditions. I’ve seen blokes out selling Union Jacks and pictures of the Queen – which makes the political agenda of it all pretty clear, but...

Two communiques from France

Photo by Fran Boloni on Unsplash We reproduce the Ile-de-France union regions (URIF) communiqué of March 23, 2020; and the declaration issued by the national coordination of strikers of 28 March. Document 1 (23 March) A common position along these lines should be taken at the national level. Cross-union unity shouldn't be dissolved in the state of emergency Communiqué of URIFS CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, UNEF, UNL The trade union regional bodies of Ile-de-France (URIF) of the unions CGT, FO, Solidaires, FSU, with [student unons] UNEF and UNL, reject the law declaring a "state of health emergency...

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