thoughts for a militant autumn…

Steve Ryan shares his ideas for another wave of struggle.

Many Communists would traditionally have ignored the TUC congress this week.

However this one may prove of more interest. Debates will be had about pensions and jobs against a background of escalating industrial unrest as PCS, FBU, Teaching unions etc move to ballot for coordinated action. McCluskey for UNITE calls for civil disobedience. The TUC is actually backing the march at the Tory and Lib Dem conferences – even Barber is talking.

we can do so much more ourselves

This is a real challenge to the libertarian-left.

This IS the biggest wave of strike action for decades, building on the March demo and June strike. Student activists are back and angry with the possibility of further action. The riots demonstrated that there is anger growing – albeit unfocused in many urban communities. Continue reading “thoughts for a militant autumn…”

what is the union bureaucracy?

by Alberto Durango, a Colombian cleaner activist whose involvement in militant organising initiatives has earned him the wrath of sub-contractor cleaning companies and the Unite union bureaucracy alike. Leerlo en castellano.

burocracia

There are very few means by which the working class can arm itself with a political tool which educates the class and helps it fight the crooks who, disguised as its defenders, betray it, sell it out and make deals over its interests with the bosses. With this tribune I want to contribute something, so that those workers who come across this information might use it as a starting point for directing a discussion about the trade union bureaucracy, this great enemy of the working class, so that they can organise to combat it. First of all therefore we have to understand what characterises the trade union bureaucracy. Continue reading “what is the union bureaucracy?”

bulletin for post strike: no deal, crozier

A bulletin for postal workers: click here for PDF. Print some off and take them down to your local picket line (or if not, visit your local picket line and show your solidarity anyway…).  If you live in Stoke, Stockport or Plymouth, you might want to go down to the picket line at one of the three MDEC centres that are on strike tomorrow (Friday).  On Saturday, from between 6am and 10.30am, visit the picket line at your local delivery office.   That’s the place you might have been to pick up a parcel if it couldn’t be delivered.  If you aren’t sure where it is, call 08457 740740 (a Royal Mail helpline) and say you’d like to know where your delivery office is (perhaps you need to pick up a parcel, but lost the calling card).

nodealcrozier

– Management are feeling the heat

– Public support is on our side

– Step up the strikes: don’t break action for talks Continue reading “bulletin for post strike: no deal, crozier”

tuc: another wasted opportunity?

by Gregor Gall

This was by far the highest profile Congress of the TUC in many years, most of that being to do with the pre-general election period of more frenzied official politics. The Congress began with Brendan Barber suggesting that big public service cuts by any future government could not only create a ‘double dip’ recession but also bring about social disorder. But by Tuesday most of the affiliated unions had rolled over when Brown told them Labour’s cuts wouldn’t be as big, quick or bad as those of the Tories.

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Then there was a bit of attention over a motion which had the temerity to suggest that the mandatory wearing of high heeled shoes by women was not good for their health. But the biggest bang was over a motion on Israel/Palestine from the FBU. And on the last day the motion on the People’s Charter was passed. Continue reading “tuc: another wasted opportunity?”

labour party: no return to the living dead!

by Chris Kane

The much vaunted “green shoots of recovery” from the recession have been revealed to be no more than weeds in the New Labour cabinet. The only actual recovery we have seen has been the recovery of banks by the capitalist state. For the working class unemployment continues to grow: uncertainty about wages, job security and paying the rent or mortgage is on the mind of every working class person.

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The main capitalist parties, Tories, New Labour and Liberals, are in disarray over the recession: they lack any clear understanding of its cause or a solution. But there is unanimity in maintaining the capitalist system and the idea that the working class should have to pay for the recession.  Yet in this dire situation, where is the alternative? We have a deep structural crisis of capital which has been expressed first in the economy then the political system of parliamentary democracy, which has revealed to millions of people that there is something deeply rotten about the capitalist system. Continue reading “labour party: no return to the living dead!”

go forth and occupy! – editorial of the commune, part 1

The first week of April saw the leaders of world capitalism converge on London for the G20 summit, which agreed to a version of Gordon Brown’s latest plan to “save the world”. The Prime Minister boasted that a “historic” $1.1 trillion programme of investment and new regulation for international finance would mean a “new world order”.

Such efforts at state support for the financial giants and Brown’s “quantitative easing” (printing money) may indeed serve to relieve some rather constipated markets. And yet the slogan of the London summit “Stability. Growth. Jobs.” and the grandiose speeches of our rulers ring hollow to the many millions who are being put out of a job and whose services are being slashed as a result of the capitalists’ crisis in the here and now. Continue reading “go forth and occupy! – editorial of the commune, part 1”

we can defy the jobs massacre – editorial of the commune, part 2

Workers have nothing to rely on other than our own strength. Petitions and charters, appeals to statesmen and grand plans for what we think a “workers’ government” would do in Gordon Brown’s place are not much use to anyone being put out of a job. They are little better for these workers than the TUC’s pamphlets on how to access the JobCentre, and will do no more to solve the greatest problem in the British labour movement today, which is not as much a lack of numbers-with some seven million trade unionists-as the lack of confidence which has afflicted unions and most social movements since the crushing of the miners’ strike a quarter of a century ago.

What really shows the way forward are the struggles coming from below, some of which are reported on in this issue of The Commune. We should not collapse into euphoria that capitalism is collapsing-most class fights at the moment are about resisting attacks rather than taking a punch at the employers-but there is certainly room for optimism, because the idea of taking collective action and fighting back is being popularised and confidence is being restored. Continue reading “we can defy the jobs massacre – editorial of the commune, part 2”