workers’ report: general conditions and the conditions for generalisation at hackney street cleansing department

Here follows a report about working at Hackney Street Cleansing Department – waste collection and street sweeping – ¬†as part of the preparation for the ‘From Melt-Down to Upheaval’-Assembly of ‘The Commune’ in September 11th 2010 in London. For details of the meeting click here.


The scope of the report is limited in itself, a work-place story. Nevertheless, looking collectively at these ‘individual experiences’ and to debate the common tendencies is a necessary step if we want to go beyond lefty campaigning and preaching. Working at the depot de-constructs certain myth about the ‘monolithic public sector’, which is currentlly undermined by private contracts, agency work and day labour.

While unions and the left focus on certain ‘issues’ (single status agreement etc.), the actual conflicts evolve around the question of work-intensification and work-force re-composition. While the left still sees the union as the main door-knob for getting in touch with ‘the working class’, the influence of the union is rather limited. Continue reading “workers’ report: general conditions and the conditions for generalisation at hackney street cleansing department”