South African strike: Political watershed? – Gentle

South African strike: Political watershed?

Leonard Gentle

Pambazuka News, 2010-09-09, Issue 495

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/66783

The public sector strike has been suspended. But whether the unions accept the state’s latest offer or not, this strike may well be (and these things we are almost always fated to see only in retrospect) a watershed in South African politics.
Firstly, amidst all the media opprobrium and invective against the strikers and the stories of intimidation, there is also a picture emerging of the appalling state of the public sector.

Whilst the very wealthy and even many middle-class people simply avoid much of the public sector, sourcing health services from medical aids and private hospitals, sending their kids to private schools and living in gated communities cleaned by private companies, most other South Africans are dependent on public healthcare, public schooling and other public services. And not only have these been seriously neglected, the very people who must provide the services – teachers, nurses, state clerical workers – are underpaid and angry enough to hold out for a protracted strike in order to get some improvement. Continue reading

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Live Working or Die Fighting – Interview with Paul Mason

Haymarket author and BBC Newsnight’s Economics Editor Paul Mason appeared Friday morning, September 24, on Democracy Now! (http://www.democracynow.org/).

Mason on Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global

The Census Bureau latest report shows that the numbers of Americans living in poverty and without health insurance have skyrocketed. 43.6 million people-about one in seven-lived below the poverty level of $22,000 for a family of four in 2009, pushing the national poverty rate to a fifteen-year high of 14.3 percent. We speak with British journalist Paul Mason about his new book, Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global.

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/24/paul_mason_on__live_working

Mason is the author of:

Live Working or Die Fighting
How the Working Class Went Global
Paul Mason
Haymarket Books
Published: 07/01/2010
978-1-60846-070-0 | $17.00 | Trade Paper
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Live-Working-or-Die-Fighting

Plan for a Global Industrial Union

The future is global unionism
23 September 2010

Union workers across the globe need to find new innovative ways of working together to match the increasing global power of multinational corporations, AWU
National Secretary, Paul Howes, said at a meeting in Germany this week. Continue reading

International Transport Workers on Sustainability

The ITF 42nd Congress, meeting in Mexico City from 5-12 August 2010:

1. Acknowledging the fact that global warming is already occurring with the 10 hottest years on record having happened since 1990, and the massive danger presented by further climate change to human civilisation;

2. Noting the scientific consensus that global warming is caused by human activities which pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere; Continue reading

Global Unionism – Leitch

http://newunionism.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/global-unionism-which-way-forward/

Global Unionism – which way forward?

Looking at the example of unionism in Mexico, Richard Leitch discusses different approaches to building union internationalism.

My recent review of ‘Global Unions, Global Business’ by Croucher and Cotton [on the newunionism site – pw] raised a couple of concerns about the authors’ preferred perspective of ‘regional minilateralism’. These revolved around its applicability to all areas of the global economy, and whether or not the alternative approach (which they call ‘rank and file bilateralism’) has some purchase for international trade unionism. Here I want to expand on these points, and look in particular at the example of building independent trade unionism in Mexico. Continue reading

Labour Media, Neiliberalism and Crisis in Labour – Shniad

Labour media, neoliberalism and the crisis in the labour movement

By Sid Shniad
Sunday, December 03, 2006
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Our panel today is called Corporate Media Assault and Developing A Labor Media Strategy. In my view, the issue should be framed as a discussion of the corporate assault on organized labour and the rest of society, and the role that labour media can play in mounting an effective response to that assault.

Thanks to a highly sophisticated, multi-pronged corporate effort, the labour movement is in crisis. How bad is the situation? Really bad. In the U.S. today, the portion of the working population that is represented by unions is at its lowest level since the 1920s. Meanwhile, corporations are rampaging unchecked. Continue reading

Doing: in-Against-and-Beyond Labour – Holloway

Peter Waterman sez: This is the first theoretical paper I have come across that attempts to reconceptualise labour in the light of 21st C capitalism and the new social movements. In so far as it draws (critically) on Marxist theory at its most abstract level, it makes for heavy reading. It invites popularization. And it provokes responses. Political-economists of the world, respond! Preferably on ReinventingLabour. Now read on…

Continue reading