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Index sizeMASS MEETING: JEREMY CORBYN FOR PM

Labour Representation Committee (LRC)

Waltham Forest Branch

Wednesday 25th November, 7.00pm

St. Barnabas, Foster Hall

St. Barnabas Road

Walthamstowe

London, E17 8JZ

 

Speakers:

John McDonnell MP – The People’s Chancellor

Matt Wrack – Fire Brigades Union, General Secretary

Maria Exall – Communication Workers Union

Steve White – National Union of Teachers

Councillor Shabana Dhedhi – Labour Party, Forest Branch

 

LRC: http://www.l-r-c.org.uk

John McDonnell

John McDonnell

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Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn

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THINGPROTEST AND ACTIVISM WITH(OUT) ORGANISATION

SPECIAL ISSUE CALL FOR PAPERS

The Journal for International Sociology and Social Policy

Guest Editors:

Richard J White – Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Patricia Wood – York University, Canada

The economic, political, social, cultural and environmental crises of our time continue to provoke and inspire a remarkable range of social movements into existence. These multiple forms of protest and activism express and embody a politics of hope – captured both in alternative narratives that envisage new post-crisis possibilities, and through the physicality of collective and popular resistance. In this context, the Special Issue of The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy is particularly intend on interrogating the socio-spatial forms of ‘organisation’ that underpin protest and activism. When taking a closer look at the organisational nature across these activist landscapes for example, it becomes apparent that resistance led through membership-based, co-ordinated hierarchical organisations (e.g. Trade Unions, NGOs) still retains an important visibility and influence in agitating for change. However, in addition perhaps, and in some meaningful way beyond, these more traditional forms of organised resistance, there exists important diverse and spontaneous forms of everyday activism, one, perhaps, consistent with a more horizontal and anarchistic praxis of self-organisation.

Questioning the relationship between activism with – and without – organisation throws up some interesting and important inter-disciplinary questions. At the most fundamental level it gives us cause to interrogate the very idea of activism: where does activism begin and end? Who gets to be an activist? Seeking to engage a more nuanced understanding of the differences between organized and unorganized forms of activism, provokes the question of how informal experiences of activism, encourage engagement with more organised forms of activism (and vice versa). Is the relationship between the two antagonistic, competitive or complementary to each other? How are organisational forms of activism dictated to by specific social and spatial temporalities, particularly at a time of crisis? Indeed in these (post)modern times is it meaningful to frame the organisation of activism within a binary relationship (either formal or informal)? Rather should we be encouraged to consider them on an organisational spectrum of difference (more formal, less formal and so on)? If desirable, how can a more informed complex understanding of the organisational natures of activism allow us to better recognise, value, strengthen and link up different types of patterns of activism and resistance?

To these ends we welcome papers of up to 8000 words addressing empirical or theoretical aspects focused on organisation of activism and protest, past and present, situated in any part of the world and at any scale.

Timeline

Please send 250-300 word abstracts directly to the Guest Editors, Richard White (richard.white@shu.ac.uk)  and Tricia Wood (pwood@yorku.ca ) by 15 August 2015.

We aim to let authors know as to whether their papers have been accepted for inclusion in the Special Issue within two weeks of this deadline.

Completed papers – between 5,000 to 8,000 words – must be submitted on-line to the IJSSP journal by 01 December 2015.

More information about The Journal for International Sociology and Social Policy can be found here: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=ijssp .

***END***

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Marx Memorial Library

Marx Memorial Library

MARX MEMORIAL LIBRARY: POLITICAL ECONOMY FOR TRADE UNIONISTS

There is a series of four classes entitled Political Economy for Trade Unionists taking place in April and May as follows:

 

Tuesday 29 April – Today’s Capitalist Crisis: Banks, Profits, Wages and Austerity

Tutor:  Jonathan White

 

Tuesday 6 May – The Assault on the Workplace: Rights, Conditions and Pay

Tutor: John McGee

 

Tuesday 13 May – The Law and Industrial Relations

Tutor: John Hendy QC

 

Tuesday 20 May – The Assault on Democratic Rights: The threat to labour’s collective voice

Tutor:  Professor Marj Mayo

 

All classes begin at 6.30 in the Lecture Hall at the Library.  The Registration fee for four classes is £12.

 

Dr Laura Miller

Administrator

Marx Memorial Library

37a Clerkenwell Green

London EC1R 0DU

(Tel)  0207 253 1485

(Web site) http://www.marx-memorial-library.org

 

**END**

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Turkish BookTHE ENEMY WITHIN: THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE MINERS

30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION!

By Seumas Milne

“The definitive account of the strike—the best book on the Thatcher era.” – Naomi Klein

“A terrifying, frightening indictment of the British establishment.” – Owen Jones

See: http://www.versobooks.com/books/1655-the-enemy-within

————–

Margaret Thatcher branded the leaders of the 1984–85 miners’ strike “the enemy within.”

In this classic account, Seumas Milne reveals the astonishing lengths to which her government and its intelligence machine were prepared to go to destroy the power of Britain’s miners union. In this 30th anniversary edition new material brings the story up to date with further revelations about the secret war against organized labour and political dissent, and the devastating price paid for the Thatcher administrations onslaught by communities across Britain.

Read more:

The Enemy Within: The 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike in the Guardian

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1540-the-enemy-within-the-30th-anniversary-of-the-miners-strike-in-the-guardian

————–

Seumas Milne is a columnist and Associate Editor on the Guardian and the paper’s former Comment Editor. He was previously the Guardian’s Labour Editor and a staff journalist on the Economist. He is the author of The Enemy Within and co-author of Beyond the Casino Economy.

————–

“The most important exposé of contemporary political Britain I have read.” – John Pilger

“Riveting. It knocks spots off the usual ‘whodunnit.’” – Guardian

“An astonishing book.” – The Nation

“A tribute to detailed journalistic investigation … strips away the myths and lies.” – New Statesman

“One of the most remarkable demolition jobs ever.” – Spectator

————–

Paperback / 472 pages / ISBN: 9781781683422 / MARCH 2014 / £12.99

ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK

————–

To learn more about THE ENEMY WITHIN and to purchase a copy please visit
http://www.versobooks.com/books/1655-the-enemy-within

————–

Visit Verso’s website for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers: http://www.versobooks.com

 

**END**

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IWGB

IWGB

LONDON LIVING WAGE VICTORY AT CORPORATION OF CITY OF LONDON

The Independent Workers Union (IWGB) has secured a major victory at the Corporation of City of London winning the London Living Wage for all cleaners. The IWGB has waged a campaign for over two years with strike action by cleaners at Guildhall and the Barbican Centre.

This a real victory for the solidarity of low paid migrant workers.

See: http://www.demotix.com/news/1893200/cleaners-strike-barbican-calls-increase-wages

City of London Corporation introduces London Living Wage for cleaners and caterers

The City of London Corporation has today (25 September) agreed to supplement ten existing corporate cleaning and catering services contracts to bring them in line with the London Living Wage (LLW). The changes to the five revised cleaning contracts will come into effect immediately after elected members decided to adopt the LLW ahead of the scheduled renewal date in August 2014. The extra annual cost of implementing the LLW across them is in the order of £812,000. The three companies operating the cleaning contracts are Sodexo, MITIE and ISS – covering sites including the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, City of London Police, Guildhall and schools.

Separately, five catering contracts will be revised in line with the LLW and backdated to 1 September 2013 – the date they originally commenced. This will come at an additional cost of £117,700 per annum. The suppliers of these contracts are Sodexo, ISS, Aramark, Holroydhowe and Brookwood – covering sites including the Central Criminal Court, Guildhall, City of London Police and schools.

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said:
“As a Best Value Authority, we are continuously striving to improve the way we procure goods or services. The City of London Corporation is committed to paying the LLW to staff and promoting it for contractors while delivering quality services across the Square Mile. We recognise that social value – as well as finance – should be a consideration when it comes to such arrangements and supplementing both these cleaning and catering contracts is a positive step forward.”

The City of London Corporation pays all staff in line with LLW, while taking account – like other organisations adopting the LLW – of the legal, financial and operational circumstances that apply when
considering contracts on a case-by-case basis. The LLW hourly rate currently stands at £8.55, compared to the current minimum wage of £6.19.

For more details visit http://www.livingwage.org.uk/

 

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IWGB

IWGB

THE CASE FOR THE INDEPENDENT WORKERS UNION 

OUR RIGHT TO ORGANISE

The Independent Workers Union (IWGB), in our activities organising mostly migrant cleaning workers, has gained wide recognition and respect.  Professor of industrial relations Gregor Gall, recently wrote that:

“The IWGB is attempting to show in practice parts of the rest of the union movement that not only can what are commonly described as ‘difficult to organise’ be unionised but that they can be unionised in such a way where they play a greater than usual role in their own organising. But, of course, this takes guts and determination as well as a long-term orientation to do so.” (Frontline, an independent Marxist journal from Scotland, June 2013).

Gregor recognises it is true some union branches have organised cleaners:  “But what the IWGB shows is that so much can be done with so little in terms of resources. If the same method of using their greater resources was applied to their work in the sector by the established unions then, presumably, so much more could be achieved.”   

Our activity has raised important questions regarding present day trade unionism and how we organise in the workplace.  Including the very need for the IWGB at all, we welcome a serious debate on these issues.  The case against us was argued recently in Socialist Review by Sandy Nicoll – “Are ‘Pop-Up’ unions the way forward?”.  The IWGB recently debated these issues at a seminar hosted by the Independent Workers Union (Ireland) in Belfast.  It was a fraternal and mature discussion – a lesson for some of the ‘comrades’ in England on how to conduct themselves.   For it is clear that rather than engage in a discussion on these matters some people would rather engage in abuse, spread untruths and blacken the name of the IWGB.   We have sought to abstain from responding to abuse disguised as criticism and instead concentrate our efforts on the fight with the employers, to develop a culture of comradeship and spirit of solidarity. 

However the recent article by Max Watson ‘IWGB: Two small unions?’, and the stance taken by some associated with him cannot go unanswered.  It is not that Watson has articulated a view on important questions better than others or that he is a very important person due to his post on the UNISON NEC.  We are responding because Watson has openly belittled and maligned the struggle and achievements of cleaners themselves – directing his venom at the John Lewis cleaners and the locked-out NTT cleaners.  To read this from someone who describes themselves as a “Socialist & trade union activist” is beyond disappointing. 

Fabrications that seek to divide us

Before addressing the issues within and surrounding Watson’s article let us make clear in summary that contrary to his fabrications:

·         It is a lie that IWGB has a strategy “focused on recruiting members of other unions” or of “poaching”,

·         It is a lie that IWGB accused Max Watson and the London Metropolitan University Branch of UNISON of racism,

·         It is a lie that IWGB “attacked” Max Watson at the same time he was under attack by his employer, the government and officialdom,

Indeed until recently the IWGB has never issued a single word of criticism or correction of Max Watson’s statements even though we would certainly be within our rights to take action in pursuant of the Defamation Act 1996.   

It is the case that much of Watson’s tirades against IWGB arises from the fact a cleaner sent a private text message to another cleaner which included criticism of him.  In addition to his at times irrational and arrogant demands for an apology from this migrant worker, there is a more disturbing agenda at work.  Watson and friends are seeking to discredit the IWGB and to drive a wedge between us and other members of the Labour Movement, especially those unions who cooperate with the IWGB.   The decision of the UNISON United Left influenced by Watson not to support the 3 Cosas campaign for equal sick pay, holiday’s and pensions for University of London cleaners, who are poised to ballot for strike action, is testimony of the divisiveness of such methods.

Buried within Watson’s article which is peppered with personal abuse, is the more significant question of forming news unions – that is does the IWGB have a right to exist at all.  We are provided with an opportunity to address this before presenting the truth about the slanders against us.  

New unionism – renegades or renewal

The IWGB is criticised by Watson for not being affiliated to the TUC, that our “view is basically: UNISON is a Labour-affiliated, sell-out union full of right wing officials so there is no way we should join them.”  Facts show otherwise, for example Alberto Durango IWGB Organiser was until his victimisation also a UNISON Shop-Steward in the NHS.  We continue to have members who are also active in other unions including UNITE, UCU, PCS, RMT and UNISON to name but a few.

Watson is disingenuous in his modesty declaring “All of this stuff may be important to those thinking about the wider issues of red unionism or whatever. I’m no historian, and I’m not a dialectical materialist who likes to hypothesize with my pen all night and day.” This is after writing over 3000 words attacking the IWGB and posting on the internet he holds a Master of Research, Labour & Trade Union Studies supervised by the historian Mary Davies, and a BA: Politics and Modern History. Watson has publically attacked the IWGB for “Red Unionism”.  

History is indeed relevant though not his warped view of the old Red International of Labour Unions.  Watson’s problem is not lack of knowledge but his dogmatic view of historical development.  For Watson the current organisational form of the trade unions is fixed rigid, it should not be altered as to attempt to do otherwise would result in a creating a “sectarian personality cult”. But history shows otherwise.

Life does not stand still, and the development of our movement did not begin or end with the forming of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in 1867 or the General Federation of Trade unions (GFTU) in 1899. Our own time has some similarity to conditions which gave rise to the ‘new unionism’ before the upsurge of the years 1888-1914.  The “old unions” were elitist, there was bigotry towards migrant workers, unskilled workers and woman were neglected. Millions were unorganised.  The workers desire for change gave birth to new unions – the General Railway Workers’ Union (now the  RMT), Matchmakers’ Union, the Amalgamated Society of Gasworkers, Brickmakers and General Labourers,  National Federation of Labour, the Dockers Union, the National Sailors’,  Firemen’s Union, and the Industrial Workers of Great Britain to name but a few.

The view of the old unions’ leaders was the same as that of Watson and his co-thinkers – hostility.  TUC leader Henry Broadhurst denounced the new unionism as causing “disruption” and to “hound these creatures from our midst.”   The organising of the new unions was assisted by militants of the then radical socialist organisations, despite their own sectarianism.  A lesson important for today.

Many who pioneered or were influenced by the new unionism played a leading role in building the rank and file shop-stewards movements from 1915-1926, taking action within and when necessary independent of the established unions.  By taking a tunnel vision view of our history many of today’s activists, some calling themselves Marxists (poor Marx!) have come to view activity within established unions as the only acceptable option – completely ignoring the whole experience of new unionism and the Great Unrest.   

The case for a new unionism is relevant now

It was certainly true in the post-war period where the trade union movement expanded to 13.5 million members by 1980 covering 55% of the entire workforce, that there was little scope or justification for creating new independent unions.  Then rank and file/shop-stewards movements played a pivotal role.   But thirty-three years later the situation in the UK is dramatically different.

The number of union members as a proportion of the total 29 million in work, has fell to 26.0% in 2011. In the private sector the number in unions fell to 14.1 in 2011, in the public sector 56.5%.  The number of overall workers covered by collective bargaining between unions and employers stands fell to 31.2% in 2011.  The new organising campaigns like Justice for Cleaners that began in the 1990’s, was meant to start organising the ocean of unorganised workplaces.  Today only the RMT has continued with a sustained campaign of organising cleaners on the railways.  Elsewhere it has been at the initiative of local branches whether cleaners and outsourced workers are organised.   Amidst the deepening crisis of capitalism key unions such as UNISON and UNITE opted for a siege mentality of holding on where they were already organised in ‘brownfield’ areas as opposed to ‘greenfield’ initiatives.

This hold onto what we’ve got mentality has not halted the membership decline even in the strongholds of union organisation.  Indeed with 61% of all union members in the public sector, as outsourcing intensified from the 1990’s many of those previously unionised workers, such as cleaners found themselves virtually abandoned as unions sought to hold onto their stronghold amongst the “core” workforce.

Today union organisation hardly exists in the hotel, restaurant, fast-food and leisure sectors. The service sector, especially retail which has three million workers is similarly poorly organised; the union presence stands at 11% of workers.  At a time when 47% of union members are in professional occupations whilst the movement is failing to expand amongst three million of the lowest paid, “vulnerable” workers of the economy then the similarity to the situation faced by new unionism in the past is obvious.

The IWGB considers that there is an urgent need to organise the 70% of workers not organised and neglected by the old guard of the labour movement.  That does not mean abandoning all existing unions, we have never argued that. But it does mean recognising that the scope for new unions such as IWGB has arisen again.  This can be seen not in the more recent struggle of cleaners in London but the North Sea oil workers.

After the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 the workers formed the rank and file Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) frustrated with the failures of the smaller established unions.  In 1991 they established themselves as an independent union.  They were denounced by the Labour Party, the AEU, EETPU and GMB and many on the left. Today they continue as OILC- RMT Offshore Energy Branch.  

This past and recent experience shows clearly it is false to put a barrier between the established movement and new initiatives from below by workers organising themselves.  It is equally wrong to consider the emergence of independent unions as counter-posed to a rank-and-file shop stewards movement to transform the labour movement.  

Solidarity or Slanders: Watson’s Fiction Pulped

Max Watson has an obsessive disagreement with the IWGB because a cleaner criticised him in a private text message.  This condition has grown worse following the decision of the vast majority of outsourced workers and others at the University of London to join the IWGB. The IWGB did not call on anyone to leave UNISON; this decision was an exercise of the workers own right to choose how they organise.  We defend their right just as we would a member of TSSA joining RMT.  We completely reject a mentality that views “the members” as a kind of property, one which sees sovereignty in a union not with the workers themselves but with the union as an institution.    

The decision of the workers at the University of London has been ably explained and defended in articles by Jason Moyer-Lee and Daniel Cooper.   Since the IWGB branch was formed there has been an electrification of the cleaners struggle at the University, coupled by a hysterical scare-campaign by certain Full-timers, alongside efforts by university bosses to ban protests and use the Police to suppress dissent.

The IWGB branch is engaged in a struggle with the University and Balfour Beatty bosses.  Our members are now prepared for a campaign of industrial action.  The UNISON United Left which Watson is a leading member stands for “Solidarity with UNISON members and other workers in struggle.” Yet the attacks by Watson on the IWGB cleaners facing banns and arrests of their student supporters, is in contradiction with these professed principles.  We appeal for the UNISON members to continue to cooperate with their fellow workers in the spirit of solidarity.  

Instead of solidarity Watson engages in slanders.  To strengthen his disagreement over the events at University of London he has fabricated a story of what were in fact very minor events at London Metropolitan University.  This includes contemptible attacks on cleaners who have stood up to their bosses.

LET US SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. 

The IWGB is not engaged in a strategy of “Poaching”.  In the vast majority of workplaces we have organised there are no other unions, in some places the sub-contracted cleaners were not organised by unions representing ‘in-house’ workers; an example is the Barbican where we have sought fraternal relations with other unions and the GMB has shown solidarity with our recent strike.  It is true at St George’s, University of London in Tooting we had a disagreement with UNISON.  All the cleaners joined IWGB in a successful struggle against cuts and for the London Living Wage. One person joined UNISON; the employer behind our backs signed a recognition deal with UNISON and tried without success to break our union.  This was an exception.  

The fact is the 1939 TUC Bridlington Agreement against poaching between unions has long been unfit for purpose and regularly ignored.  What is needed is a solidarity agreement, not crossing each other’s picket lines and supporting fellow workers in struggle.

The IWGB did not attack Watson when he was being victimised.  This is simply a work of fiction. Watson’s obsessive disagreements pre-date his own recent suspension by the London Metropolitan University bosses.   

The NTT Cleaners Fight was a Victory

The IWGB in its past or present form has not set out to undermine UNISON at LondonMetropolitanUniversity. How did it come about that we have cleaner members at the University?  Watson denigrates these cleaners and their achievements as having been in “collusion” with the employer, mocking, that they ‘got themselves transferred’ and were wrong to claim a victory in their fight.    

In February 2012 the cleaners at NTT Communications, employed by Dynamiq protested – in response the entire workforce was locked out by NTT and told they would be made redundant.  The unity of our members stopped the dismissals, forced Dynamiq to agree the workers would stay together in alternative jobs, be put on the London Living Wage and relocated on TUPE conditions.   In the end all the workers were transferred to the Moorgate and North Campus site of London Metropolitan University where Dynamiq had the contract.

Watson claims this was ‘behind our backs, so in effect in collusion with the employer’ – is he seriously saying workers, who had never even heard of Mr Max Watson and not in UNISON, should have asked his permission to save their own jobs? Is he saying forcing an employer who wants to sack everyone to find them jobs with a pay rise is class collaboration?   Sorry, are you mad, Max?

The Patriarch of London Met

At Moorgate site there was no UNISON presence amongst cleaners, the other cleaners were very impressed by the new workers accounts.  But there was no decision to go on a ‘permanent recruitment drive’ as claimed.   

Our union did set out to work with Watson organising cleaners at London Metropolitan.  We had no plans to organise there at all.  It is no doubt true UNISON did organise cleaners in the past, it was also the case many cleaners informed us activity had lapsed.  The cleaners already at Moorgate certainly had no engagement with UNISON.  This is not a criticism just how things were felt by cleaners. 

Watson first contacted the IWGB and spoke at a cleaners protest at Reuters in Aldgate.  He offered cooperation – he also raised working together and “no poaching” – it was never on our minds.  At a meeting of all cleaners, Alberto Durango emphasised that there was already a union organised and they should be part of it – that is UNISON!   A meeting of cleaners was held which elected reps to represent all cleaners, regardless of their union membership.  One of our cleaners’ branch activists was one of them.  She is a political refugee with a respected history of activity in Colombia.  Someone who has seen close family members languish in prison and her own life under threat. 

Why then did Watson become so upset with us?  From the start we made clear to him it is important in working together that we do so as equals and with mutual respect. Instead we and our members were treated condescendingly.  Watson became incensed because:

1.      A joint union leaflet was not produced to meet his deadline,

2.      Alberto Durango attended a meeting with the cleaning contractor, and Watson did not know in advance he was coming,

3.      Some leaflets informing people who our union was had been distributed in the UNISON office – he was there it was hardly a secret,

All because of these minor things Watson was angry, telephoning Chris Ford arrogantly damming our whole union as “unreliable” and engaged in some-kind of campaign to undermine UNISON.  It was an over the top paranoia coupled with a control freak mentality.  

Watson writes that he emailed Chris Ford IWGB Secretary ‘to try to resolve our conflict at London Met’.  This is not the case.  Watson sent long emails which bore the hallmarks of an obsession with a text in Spanish by the women activist mentioned above – to another cleaner’s rep.  She also felt Watson took advantage of her poor English.  That was entirely her prerogative.  She certainly did not make the assertions in his wild claims

Watson persisted in arrogantly demanding this cleaner issue an apology.  We had no intention of engaging in a ridiculous hounding of this worker all because she was critical of the UNISON Branch Chair.  Indeed she was a member of the UNISON Branch at the time.  Does Watson hound other members of UNISON to apologise for being critical of him?  

Watson notes we were too busy with the John Lewis cleaners strike to answer him.  Firstly all our activists are volunteers who do not get paid time off work to engage in union activities and the strike at John Lewis was more important.  Secondly contrary to his paranoid fantasies we were not engaged in an organising drive at LondonMetropolitanUniversity so it was not on our list priorities. 

Watson embellishes his fable about London Met with a slander Chris Ford played ‘no positive role’ in the London Living Wage campaign whilst a lecturer at that University.  In fact he had only just started working there and was a member of UCU not UNISON. However even though Chris was a part-time PhD student who worked a mere couple of hours per week as an Hourly Paid Lecturer he was the only HPL in his Department taking strike action and encouraging others to join UCU. He was sacked and represented by UCU who considered he was victimised, losing his job and his student position. These facts Watson is aware of but chooses to ignore.

It is bizarre indeed that Watson should cite some anarchists associated with the IWW approvingly to attack us.  During a brief period the old Latin American Workers Association and Justice for Cleaners joined the IWW.  The people Watson cites against us engaged in constant attacks on us for amongst other things they thought we wanted to become like “just another TUC union”, we were denounced for having legal strike action, and “getting into bed with Labour MPs”, meaning our friendship with John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn.  And Watson thinks we are “laughable”.

Contemptuous Attack on John Lewis Cleaners

From his high office Watson not only belittles the NTT cleaners and an insubordinate woman who criticised him – but contemptibly attacks the John Lewis cleaners struggle.   In order to justify branding their achievements as “hyper-bollocks” he simply lies about the campaign of the John Lewis cleaners.

The cleaners of John Lewis in Oxford Street are 100% migrant workers from Latin America and Africa employed by the contractor ICM.  From December 2011 until August 2012 they struggled with the employers to stop compulsory cuts of a third of the staff and cuts in their hours.  They added to their campaign the demand for the London Living Wage. 

Having kept the bosses at bay for months, without a penny in strike pay, the cleaners took two days of strike action in August 2012, the first at John Lewis since 1920.  The militant strikes were accompanied by protests and direct action.  Poised to take a third strike the employers agreed to a settlement which saw, no job cuts, no cuts in hours, reinstatement of two workers, re-organisation of excessive shift-hours and a 9% pay increase.  This was followed by the same pay rise for hundreds of cleaners in John Lewis across stores in London.    At this time there were job cuts and austerity measures across the country, including many at LondonMetropolitanUniversity. Against this background IWGB Secretary Chris Ford was right to state the cleaners “achievements are not minor – they are almost unheard of in the current period of austerity.” 

For the cleaners this was a ceasefire, the campaign has continued for the full Living Wage and is escalating towards new strike action.  Instead Watson belittles the statement as “laughable” and even worse condemning the cleaners as giving in when they should have won writing that “others had been winning the Living Wage elsewhere and to be quite honest, with an employer like John Lewis? Talk about open goal missed.”  

By any decent trade unionists standards Watson’s statement is contemptible – Max Watson writes that of the John Lewis dispute: “If that is not hyper-bollocks then my name is Jim Larkin.”  No your not – perhaps a word from the Mad Max of the big screen: “Look, any longer out on that road and I’m one of them, a terminal psychotic, except that I’ve got this bronze badge that says that I’m one of the good guys.” Indeed.

Our movement is at a crossroads, we urgently need a new unionism which meets the challenges of the 21st Century, the seeds of that new unionism are germinating in the struggles of today – the IWGB is a part of this process and we urge genuine trade unionists to support and assist the Independent Workers Union.

IWGB

IWGB

I.W.G.B

WWW.IWGB.ORG.UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

 

Educating from Marx

Educating from Marx

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK: UPDATE 30th SEPTEMBER 2013

EVENTS

MAYWORKS FESTIVAL OF WORKING PEOPLE AND THE ARTS PRESENTS THE 2ND ANNUAL MIN SOOK LEE LABOUR ARTS AWARDS GALA

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Steelworkers Hall
25 Cecil Street, Toronto

6 pm:  Cocktails
7 pm: Dinner
8 pm: Awards

Silent Auction
Four Course Dinner – East African Community Association (Veggie, Vegan, Gluten Free Options)
Entertainment by Friends of Mayworks

Award Winners will be announced the first week of November! Deadline for nominations is October 25. See http://www.mayworks.ca for details.

Tickets: $50 each; $25 students, unemployed/underemployed
There are a limited number of subsidized tickets available
Don’t miss out!! Book your tickets today!!

To pay for tickets online please visit http://www.mayworks.ca to find the “Donate” button on the bottom left hand corner of the page. You will receive an email confirmation of your donation of $50 or $25 as well as your ticket information. To book your tickets or to request a ticket order form, please call 416.561.3163 or email minsookleeawards@gmail.com

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THE GREG PAVELICH MEMORIAL PUBLIC FORUM ON EDUCATION

Tuesday, Oct. 1
7 p.m.
519 Community Centre Ballroom
519 Church St., Toronto

This special event commemorates 10 years since the passing of Greg Pavelich, an out proud gay activist, labour rights supporter and teacher among many other community development roles. To recognize his numerous contributions to the LGBTQ communities, Queer Ontario hosts this Public Forum on Education, a topic Greg was so passionate about.

Topics to be discussed:
– Updating Sex Ed. Curriculum
– Post-Secondary Education of Professionals (Teachers) on Queer Issues
– One School System for Ontario
– Implementation of Bills 13 and 33

Panelists:
Michelle Bourgeois (Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf), Mark Daye (Toronto Centre Candidate, Green Party of Ontario), Gary Kinsman (Queer Liberation and Anti-Capitalist Activist, Academic and Author), J Wallace (Gender Based Violence Prevention Program – TDSB) Moderator: Nick Mulé (Chairperson, Queer Ontario)

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REBEL FILMS PRESENTS: THE SPIRIT OF ’45

94 minutes, 2013
Ken Loach, director

Friday, October 4
7 p.m.
OISE, 252 Bloor St. West, Room 2-214
(St. George Subway Station)

Everyone welcome. $4 donation requested.

1945 was a pivotal year in British history. The unity that carried Britain through the war allied to the bitter memories of the inter-war years led to a vision of a better society. The spirit of the age was to be our brother’s and our sister’s keeper. Director Ken Loach has used film from Britain’s regional and national archives, alongside sound recordings and contemporary interviews, to create a rich political and social narrative.

“The achievements of the ‘45 Labour government have largely been written out of our history. From near economic collapse we took leading industries into public ownership and established the Welfare State. Generosity, mutual support and co-operation were the watch words of the age. It is time to remember the determination of those who were intent on building a better world.” – Ken Loach, director

Leading off the discussion will be Toronto SA member Valerie Lamb, who grew up in England in the 1940s and 50s, and Barry Weisleder, Canada editor of SA newspaper.

Presented by Toronto Socialist Action, http://www.socialistaction.ca or call 416-461-6942 or 647-986-1917

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3RD ANNUAL RYERSON SOCIAL JUSTICE WEEK

Rebuilding the “We” – This is What Solidarity Looks Like

October 7 – 11, 2012
Ryerson University, Toronto

For a complete list of events, click here:
http://www.ryerson.ca/socialjustice/events/index.html

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SOCIALISM THEORY AND PRACTICE SERIES: UNDERSTANDING GLOBALIZATION

Saturday, Oct 19
7:00 pm
Beit Zatoun
612 Markham St. (Bathurst & Bloor), Toronto

Talks by Sam Gindin and David McNally. First of a 3-part series organized by the Education Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly (GTWA).

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NEWS & VIEWS

NEW BOOK – NEW FORMS OF WORKER ORGANIZATION: THE SYNDICALIST AND AUTONOMIST RESTORATION OF CLASS STRUGGLE UNIONISM

Edited by Manny Ness, with a foreword by Staughton Lynd

“This remarkable international collection shows working-class power being built from the ground up by rank-and-file workers self-organizing to create new forms of autonomous, democratic organizations. Grounded in a reclamation of histories from earlier struggles, a strong critique of bureaucratic unionism, and an unapologetically anti-capitalist framework, it offers fresh, compelling analyses, vital conceptual tools – and hope – for the local and global fight for freedom from exploitation, today and tomorrow.” – Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University

For more info: http://www.workerorganization.org/

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REPORT – DEGREES OF UNCERTAINTY: HOW AFFORDABLE IS TUITION IN YOUR PROVINCE

A new CCPA (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) report tracks the affordability of university education across Canadian provinces. The study looks at trends in tuition and compulsory fees in Canada since 1990, projects fees for each province for the next four years, and ranks the provinces on affordability for median- and low-income families using a Cost of Learning Index.

Average tuition and compulsory fees in Canada have tripled since 1990, and according to the study, Ontario is the province with the highest fees and will see its tuition and other fees climb from $8,403 this fall to an estimated $9,517 in 2016-17. Newfoundland and Labrador remains the province with the lowest compulsory fees of $2,872 this fall, rising to an estimated $2,886 in 2016-17.

Read the full report, Degrees of Uncertainty: Navigating the changing terrain of university finance, to find out more: http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/degrees-uncertainty

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PODCAST – UNIFOR INTERVIEW SERIES: ROXANNE DUBOIS ON COMMUNITY CHAPTERS

In our third installment of the Unifor Interview Series with union leaders, staff, and rank-and-file members, we speak with Roxanne Dubois about Unifor’s Community Chapters. Roxanne is a staff member of the CEP and now Unifor, and is a former chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. She presented a discussion paper on community chapters at the Unifor convention.

Read the discussion paper: http://rankandfile.ca/2013/09/14/unifor-interview-series-roxanne-dubois-on-community-chapters/

Listen to the podcast: http://www.newunionconvention.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/676-Union-Citizenship-web-ENG.pdf

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CALL FOR PAPERS – THE LABOUR MOVEMENT AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: THE ALBERTA LABOUR HISTORY CONFERENCE, 2014

The labour movement has a long history of working alongside or against a wide variety of other social and political movements: from the anti-Fascist popular front to the Latin American solidarity campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s, from the women’s movement to LGBTQ movement today, from anti-nukes to environmental movements, from human rights campaigns in the 1940s and 1950s to Idle No More today. The Alberta Labour History Institute (ALHI) conference of 18-21 June, 2014, wants to investigate this past, present and future of labour’s interaction with other social movements in Canada and beyond.

We are looking for people or groups interested in taking part in one of four categories on the theme of labour’s interaction with other social movements, past, present and future. We encourage papers and presentations from any perspective, including those that may be critical of labour in the past or present. We also encourage potential presenters to take a broad view of social movements, defining them as you like.

The categories are:
– Academic presentations of 15-20 minutes of length by students, established academics or others.
–  Oral history participants who want to tell their own story on the theme in 10 minutes.
– Films up to 20 minutes in length.
– Museum-style displays that can be shipped to Edmonton and put up for public display during the length of the conference.

Interested presenters should send a statement of interest or abstract and brief bio or c.v. to ALHI@labourhistory.ca by 15 November, 2013 for inclusion in the program. All proposals will be peer-reviewed by a panel of academics and labour activists, and selected presenters will be informed by the end of November.

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NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR THE SECOND ANNUAL MIN SOOK LEE LABOUR ARTS AWARDS

Sponsored by the Mayworks Festival for Working People and the Arts

Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts is inviting nominations for the 2013 Min Sook Lee Labour Arts Awards. The awards are given by Mayworks to recognize significant contributions to the arts and labour movement in three categories:

– Labour Activists who have used the arts to promote the values of the labour and social justice movements;
– Artists who have captured the values of labour and social justice in their art;
– Labour unions who have used the arts to engage their membership in different ways, for example in strike prep, or for picket lines or campaigns.

Deadline to submit nominations: October 25, 2013

Download the Nomination Form at: http://mayworks.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2013NominationApplicationMinSookLeeAwards.doc and submit by the above deadline. Please email minsookleeawards@gmail.com for more information.

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JOB POSTINGS

TENURE TRACK ASSISTANT PROFESSOR POSITION IN ADULT LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT, CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

Responsibilities include teaching graduate level courses in the ALD Program, advising graduate students, and supervising student internships, portfolio projects and doctoral dissertations. The ALD faculty seeks an individual who will expand and/or add strength to our existing competencies. 

Minimum Qualifications:
– Earned Doctorate in Adult Education and/or related field by August 2014, with research interests in one or more of the following areas: adult learning and development, critical/participatory pedagogy, training and instructional design, technology and adult learners, adult literacy, medical education, online learning, and/or other related areas.
– Experience in teaching and/or working with adult learners
– Evidence of capacity for scholarly activity
– Experience teaching and/or developing online instruction

November 15, 2013 is the closing date for applications. For more info, visit:
https://hrjobs.csuohio.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1380505914162

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ASSISTANT PROFESSOR – ADULT AND LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAM, UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

The Adult and Lifelong Learning faculty are seeking candidates to fill a 100% Assistant Professor, 9-month tenure-track position in our program. We welcome candidates who embrace the scholar-practitioner approach to integrating theory, research, and practice with teaching and professional service. The ideal candidate will demonstrate significant experience working with diverse adult populations and agencies that administer adult and lifelong learning programs, possess highly developed research and teaching skills, and be able to partner with individuals and organizations to provide outreach and applied research opportunities for students and faculty.

Minimum Requirements:
– An earned doctorate in adult and lifelong learning or related discipline.
– Demonstrated record of peer reviewed publication.
– Ability to teach graduate students using online technologies.
– Demonstrated proficiency in research methodology and the ability to supervise dissertation research.
– An explicit and comprehensive research agenda related to adult and lifelong learning.

For more info: http://hr.uark.edu/jobdetails.asp?ListingID=7027

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TWO ASSISTANT PROFESSOR POSITIONS AT ERIUM, UNIVERSITY OF MONTREAL

The School of Industrial Relations at University of Montreal (École de relations industrielles de l’Université de Montréal – ERIUM) invites applications for two tenure-track faculty positions at the Assistant Professor level with tenure to begin June 2014. One position with a specialisation in Human Resource Management and the other with a specialisation in Labor Relations.

For more information: http://eri.umontreal.ca/departement/nouvelles-evenements/deux-postes-de-professeurs-a-pourvoir-a-leri-en-g-7141/

ERIUM is one of the major centres for the study of work and employment in North America, bringing together specialists in the areas of human resource management, labour relations, labour law, labour economics, public policies on work and employment, health and safety at work, and comparative employment relations. The teaching staff is made of 24 full-time professors and 20 sessional or part-time adjunct staff. ERIUM offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs all specialised in Industrial Relations to more than a thousand students (675 undergraduate; 375 graduate).

To learn more about ERIUM:
http://eri.umontreal.ca/departement/more-information-about-us/

++++++++++
++++++++++

ABOUT CSEW (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION & WORK, OISE/UT):
Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education. For more information about this project, visit http://www.apcol.ca

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Marx's Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism

Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism

REVOLUTIONARY TEAMSTERS

The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934

Bryan D. Palmer, Trent University

Minneapolis in the early 1930s was anything but a union stronghold. An employers’ association known as the Citizens’ Alliance kept labour organisations in check, at the same time as it cultivated opposition to radicalism in all forms. This all changed in 1934. The year saw three strikes, violent picket-line confrontations, and tens of thousands of workers protesting in the streets.

Bryan D. Palmer tells the riveting story of how a handful of revolutionary Trotskyists, working in the largely non-union trucking sector, led the drive to organise the unorganised, to build one large industrial union. What emerges is a compelling narrative of class struggle, a reminder of what can be accomplished, even in the worst of circumstances, with a principled and far-seeing leadership.

See: http://www.brill.com/revolutionary-teamsters

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-from-the-hm-book-series-revolutionary-teamsters-by-bryan-palmer

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Global Economic Crisis

Global Economic Crisis

CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND WORK: UPDATE 2nd SEPTEMBER 2013

EVENTS

TORONTO SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE LAUNCH PARTY
Monday, September 2
8pm
The 460, 460 Spadina Ave, Toronto

Join the Toronto IWW in celebrating the launch of our Solidarity Committee, which will be supporting workers fighting back against bad bosses, stolen wages and other workplace issues that affect precarious workers.

The event will feature music, a brief discussion of the Solidarity Committee and its organizing model, and guest speakers.

For more info: http://torontoiww.org/

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BOOK LAUNCH – THE NEW COMMUNE-IST MANIFESTO: WORKERS OF THE WORLD, IT REALLY IS TIME TO UNITE

Monday Sept. 2 — 7 pm
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St., Toronto

By Ernesto (Ernie) Raj Peshkov-Chow; Published by RED/Fernwood, September 2013

The union movement and the Left have lost their vision of the way forward. Some key questions are asked, but no answers are forthcoming that resonate with the billions of people who comprise today’s working class. What is the alternative to capitalism? How do we get there, wherever there is?

For more info: http://www.newcommuneist.com
Or http://www.fernwoodpublishing.ca

Sponsored by: Beit Zatoun, International Socialists, Socialist Action and Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly

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DISABLED PEOPLE AGAINST CUTS: SOLIDARITY ACTION IN TORONTO WITH DISABLED PEOPLE AGAINST CUTS (DPAC) WEEK OF ACTION IN THE UK

Tuesday, September 3
12pm
777 Bay Street, Toronto

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is holding a week of action to challenge austerity and brutal attacks on disabled people being carried out by the Cameron Government. We are rallying outside the British Consulate to show our support and build for our own struggles in Ontario as ODSP comes under attack.

For more info: http://update.ocap.ca/node/1093

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OCCUPY ECONOMICS TORONTO WORKSHOP: THE CORPORATE SYSTEM OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Tuesday, Sep. 3
6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St., Toronto
Event is free

At the height of the Colonial Period, the Western powers  in a number of trading enclaves around the world enjoyed what was called ‘extraterritorial power’: their citizens and commercial enterprises were governed by the colonial powers own legal systems and not the host nations.

At the moment the sisterhood of multinational corporations (today including state-owned Chinese multinationals) are replicating such a system, established under the guise of a set of international trade agreements with so-called ‘investor protection’ clauses. Modelled on NAFTA’s chapter 11, they will triumph corporate profit over environment protection, human rights, fight for gender equality, for labour rights, etc. National and local legislation will be superseded by board of arbitrators.

We must wake up the Canadian people up to the implications of this sacrifice on the altar of corporate profit maximization.

For more info: http://occupyeconomics.ca/

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NEWS & VIEWS

THE RADICAL TRADITION OF AUTOWORKERS: AN INTERVIEW WITH GREG SHOTWELL

By Andy Piascik, Z Magazine

The sit-down strike by General Motors workers in the winter of 1936-37 was one of the galvanizing events in U.S. labor history. Similarly, the efforts of the primarily African-American autoworkers of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM) sparked the resurgence of rank and file militancy in the late 1960s and 1970s. In more recent years, the New Directions caucus and Soldiers of Solidarity carried on the radical tradition in the United Automobile Workers.

Gregg Shotwell was active in both New Directions and SOS for much of his 30 years working at General Motors, during which time the UAW’s rolls fell from 1.5 million members to 382,513. He published “Live Bait and Ammo,” a boisterous newsletter that regularly skewered management as well as official union passivity.

In this interview, Shotwell talks about the onslaught of auto management, the decline of the UAW, and the efforts of autoworkers to resist both.

Read more: http://www.zcommunications.org/the-radical-tradition-of-autoworkers-by-andy-piascik.html

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UNION WAGE ADVANTAGE GROWS BY $1.71 PER HOUR

By Doug Allan, Leftwords

The gap between union and non-union wages in Ontario has grown significantly since the start of the recession in 2008, increasing by $1.71 per hour, Statistics Canada data indicates.

The hourly union advantage grew by 34 cents per hour each year on average. For a full time worker, that means the advantage for having union coverage in your workplace is growing by about $663 per year.

Compared to five years ago, that means the union wage advantage for an employee working full time hours has grown by $3,334 per year.

Read more: http://ochuleftwords.blogspot.ca/2013/08/union-wage-advantage-grows-by-171-per.html

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SCHOOL4CIVICS – PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN ON POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT

By Alejandra Bravo, The Maytree Foundation

When we put out a call in April to be part of our upcoming series of School4Civics boot camps, workshops and networking events, we were pleased to see the broad interest in getting involved in political life. People who get involved in politics are some of our most engaged, committed and civic-minded neighbours. Most of them have already been active in their communities, volunteering, sitting on boards, and contributing in other ways. When they get involved in politics, they are really putting themselves and their families out there in a way that most people can’t imagine.

Read more: http://diversecitytoronto.ca/blog/school4civics-pulling-back-the-curtain-on-political-engagement/

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CALL FOR PAPERS/PROPOSALS – IDEA JOURNAL 2014

Design Activism: Developing Models, Modes and Methodologies of Practice

Academics, research students and practitioners are invited to submit design research papers and critical project works that engage interior design/interior architecture theory and practice with the topic of Design Activism: Developing Models, Modes and Methodologies of Practice for the Idea Journal 2014.

The living conditions of First Nations communities, food-security concerns, access to clean safe water, domestic violence – seemingly disparate subjects can be, and are being, connected to interior design teaching and practice. Such issues are particularly linked to the ongoing discussions of designers working within the new global design paradigm. There is evidence that a range of worthwhile initiatives have been undertaken by design professionals who choose to pursue socially responsible practices, and by educators and practitioners who are intentionally shifting away from a focus on pure
aesthetics and market-driven practices.

Dissatisfied with what they perceive as an over-emphasis by the design community on aesthetics, and its failure to meaningfully address the design needs of at-risk and low-income communities, several academics and practitioners have started to incorporate social-justice issues into their design research and teaching – while a number of independent design practitioners are involving themselves in activism.

The Idea Journal accepts: design research papers, refereed studios, project reviews, visual essays, book & exhibition reviews.

Authors are invited to register their interest in submitting a paper on the form following and forward by email to the Executive Editor, Suzie Attiwill by 21 October 2013. Registration of interest is not refereed. The acknowledgement of registration facilitates development of a proposal to full research paper, refereed studio, visual essay or project review by providing formatting guidelines and publication standards to registrants.

Email: IDEAJournal2014@gmail.com
Website: http://idea-edu.com/journal/2014-idea-journal/

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CALL FOR PAPERS: 2014 CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR WORK AND LABOUR STUDIES (CAWLS) INAUGURAL CONFERENCE

Hosted at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, during the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. May 2014.

The conference organizing committee invites submissions for participation in the inaugural conference of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies. The committee welcomes proposals for single papers, multiple paper panels, roundtables and/or workshops. In keeping with the Congress theme, “Borders without Boundaries”, the participation of researchers in academic, union and community settings is encouraged.

Please send electronic copies of 250-word proposals to the conference organizing committee c/o Dr. Larry Savage, Conference Chair and Director, Centre for Labour Studies, Brock University Labour.Studies@brocku.ca. All proposals are due by December 1, 2013.

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THOUSANDS STRIKE FAST FOOD, PICKETING AND OCCUPYING

By Jenny Brown, Labor Notes

Thousands of fast food workers walked off their jobs in 58 U.S. cities [on Thursday], an indictment of an economy that’s producing little more than McJobs. Some picket lines turned into temporary occupations, and several stores closed.

From a McDonald’s in Peoria, Illinois, to a Burger King in Durham, North Carolina, the one-day strikes hit businesses in dozens of new cities and towns. Organizers estimated a thousand restaurants were affected.

Read more: http://www.labornotes.org/2013/08/thousands-strike-fast-food-picketing-and-occupying

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THE MOVEMENT AND THE MESSAGE: BRIDGING THE DIVIDE BETWEEN UNIONS AND THE PUBLIC

By Sima Sahar Zerehi, Our Times

We’ve typecast ourselves. The defenders of labour rights, the champions of working people, have become a relic of the past. At times we’re almost a parody of ourselves, a walking/talking vintage edition of class struggle: same t-shirts, same placards, same songs and chants.

Read more: http://ourtimes.ca/Featured_Story/article_286.php

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JOB POSTINGS

NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, EDUCATION DEPARTMENT: CANADIAN LABOUR CONGRESS (CLC)

The Canadian Labour Congress is seeking a National Representative responsible for online, hybrid and/or blended education and learning. The Representative will also contribute to the development and delivery of in-class learning.  This position is based in Ottawa.

The successful candidate will report to the National Director, Education.

Responsibilities include:
– develop course material on a range of issues related to labour education;
– oversee and create a range of media for online learning initiatives, in order to engage learners online and foster learning and social change;
– develop educational strategies using social media;
– plan, develop and deliver train-the-trainer courses;
– evaluate the success of individual learning and media techniques;
– provide technical support to affiliated unions, federations of labour and labour councils with respect to their education development and delivery needs;
– maintain a strong working knowledge of current and emerging online and in-class learning techniques and best practices;
– work closely with staff in other CLC departments in the development of educational materials;
– assist in piloting new course material.

For more details and to apply: https://charityvillage.com/jobs/search-results/job-detail.aspx?id=279417&l=2

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++++++++++

ABOUT CSEW (CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION & WORK, OISE/UT):

Head: Peter Sawchuk
Co-ordinator: D’Arcy Martin

The Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) brings together educators from university, union, and community settings to understand and enrich the often-undervalued informal and formal learning of working people. We develop research and teaching programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT) that strengthen feminist, anti-racist, labour movement, and working-class perspectives on learning and work.

Our major project is APCOL: Anti-Poverty Community Organizing and Learning. This five-year project (2009-2013), funded by SSHRC-CURA, brings academics and activists together in a collaborative effort to evaluate how organizations approach issues and campaigns and use popular education. For more information about this project, visit http://www.apcol.ca

For more information about CSEW, visit: http://www.csew.ca

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

 

Work

Work

WORKING USA: CALL FOR ARTICLES

From: Kim Scipes: kimscipes@earthlink.net

Working USA:  The Journal of Labor and Society
Call for Papers: “Building International Labor Solidarity”

Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society will devote a thematic issue to Building International Labor Solidarity, which will be published in early 2014.  The thematic editor is Kim Scipes of Purdue University North Central who will work closely with Working USA editor, Immanuel Ness.

As new labor movements emerge in Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, we seek essays that focus on research that is designed to build international labor solidarity with these and other workers.  The editors seek in-depth, critical description and analyses of efforts motivated by the rise of workers movements that engage in transnational solidarity, as well as articles that examine imperial and global power efforts to control, guide, and circumscribe them. Historical examples must retain focus that refract on today’s problems and concerns. Paper proposals are encouraged that address labor unions and workers’ movements in the United States and beyond, but priority will be given to research across the developed-developing country divide, or among developing countries of the Global South.

Proposals for papers in the journal should be submitted by August 15, 2013, with a length of 250-500 words.  Final papers will be peer-reviewed by referees appointed by the editorial board, and should not exceed 7,500 words.  For author guidelines, go to the following website:

See: http://working-usa.org

Papers must be received by October 15, 2013.  E-mail for questions or submissions: kscipes@pnc.edu and iness@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Book Project
Concurrently, the editors of the special issue are separately publishing a collection on Building International Labor Solidarity, for which they are seeking submissions.  Contributors can submit papers to both the journal issue and the book, but they must be separate essays.  This will supplement issues addressed in the journal and go beyond them.  Each chapter can reach 10,000 words, and focus on practical, on-the-ground experiences and critical reflections on the subject.  This collection is planned as an activist-oriented project, and we are looking for accounts that address
specific issues raised in the practice of or literature about building international labor solidarity that examine the history and unfolding of events.  Again, priority will be given to work across the developed-developing country divide, or among developing countries/Global South.

Proposals for chapters in the collection should be submitted by September 15, 2013, with a length of 250-500 words.  Chapters are due by June 1, 2014, and authors should check with either editor about their proposed papers.

Immanuel Ness, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, New York, USA, Email: iness@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Kim Scipes, Purdue University North Central in Westville, Indiana, USA,
Email   kscipes@pnc.edu

 

First published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/call-for-articles-for-working-usa-building-international-labor-solidarity

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Match Women

The Match Women

MATCHWOMEN’S STRIKE 2013 FESTIVAL

Bishopsgate Institute

London

6th July 2013

11.00am – 11.00pm

Admission Free (but register for tickets)

Family Friendly

Celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Matchwomen’s victory, and the beginning of the modern labour movement

125 years ago the Matchwomen’s gallant struggle and victory against all the odds led to the new union movement. For far too long they have been unsung heroes in the pages of history. Celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Matchwomen’s victory and the beginning of the modern labour movement!

The festival will be the kind of ‘knees- up’ the Matchwomen themselves would have enjoyed – there will be bands, comedians and actors, choirs, stalls, and great food and drink.

In July 1888, several hundred women walked out of an East London match factory – and changed the world. The strike was a reaction to management bullying and terrible conditions, and it should have failed. Bryant & May were powerful and prosperous, with friends in government. The women were mere ‘factory girls’, and even worse, mostly Irish. But their courage, solidarity and refusal to back down impressed all who saw it. What they revealed about conditions inside the factory, including the horrors of the industrial disease ‘phossy jaw’, shamed Bryant & May, and their shareholders, many of whom were MP’s and clergymen. In just two weeks, the women won better rates of pay and conditions, and the right to form the largest union of women in the country.

Their victory was remarkable, but until now, rarely acknowledged as the beginning of the modern trade union movement. Following the Matchwomen’s victory a wave of strikes, including the 1889 Great London Dock Strike, swept the nation. Multitudes of the most exploited workers formed new unions, sowing the seeds of the modern labour movement, and Labour Party. The Dock Strikers never denied the Matchwomen’s influence. In the throes of the Dock Strike, leader John Burns urged a mass meeting of tens of thousands to ‘stand shoulder to shoulder.

Remember the Matchwomen, who won their fight and formed a union.

Speakers & Performers include: Tony Benn, Owen Jones, Lindsey German, Robb Johnson, Anna Davin, Professor Jane Martin, Michael Rosen, The Socialist Choir and many more, with lots of events for children and young people.

Website and Registration for Tickets: http://www.matchwomensfestival.com/

Bryant & May

Bryant & May

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Match Women's Strike

The Match Women’s Strike

Protest

Protest

WORKERS OF THE WORLD INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL ON STRIKES AND SOCIAL CONFLICTS

See below for Volume 3 Number 3 of the Workers of the World International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflicts.

There is a special issue, edited by Christian Devito, on global labour history, and an interview on conflicts and the archives of the labour movement in Argentina.

See: http://www.workersoftheworldjournal.net/index.php/current-edition2

Workers of the World International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflict aims to be innovative. This journal aims to stimulate global studies on labour and social conflicts in an interdisciplinary, global, long term historical and non Eurocentric perspective. It intends to move away from traditional forms of methodological nationalism and conjectural studies, adopting an explicitly critical and interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, it will publish empirical research and theoretical discussions that address strikes and social conflicts in an innovative and rigorous manner. It will also promote dialogue between scholars from different fields and different countries and disseminate analyzes on different socio-cultural realities, to give visibility and centrality to this theme.

Home page: http://www.workersoftheworldjournal.net/

First published at: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/workers-of-the-world-international-journal-on-strikes-and-social-conflicts

 

**END**

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski