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Tag Archives: Workers Power

Global Capitalism

MANIFESTO FOR DEMOCRACY AND ECOLOGICAL SANITY

The New York based Group “Economic Democracy Manifesto” has just published a Manifesto for Economic Democracy and Ecological Sanity. 

“Economic Democracy” is a strategic concept that has the potentials to reopen the debate about a socialist perspective for the 21st century on a broader base. It draws lessons from the failures of both Eastern state socialism, whose administrative central planning stifled democracy at the workplace and Western New Deal social democracy that did not change the fundamental power relations and whose reforms were more and more dismantled. The concept contains both a radical long term perspective and realistic short term demands.

The Manifesto can be downloaded here: http://rdwolff.com/content/manifesto

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Economic-Democracy-Manifesto/137414313037228?sk=app_189116767802011

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘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

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

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

Glenn Rikowski’s MySpace Blog: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski/blog

 

We Are the Crisis

NEW UNIONISM: HOW WORKERS CAN FIGHT BACK
A dayschool hosted by Workers’ Liberty
Saturday 18 February 2012, 11:30-17:30

Highgate Newtown Community Centre, 25 Bertram Street, London N19 5DQ (Archway tube)

http://www.workersliberty.org/newunionism for more details and to pay online Facebook event: New Unionism: how workers can fight back

In the late 1880s, workers (often unskilled or semi-skilled, often migrants and often working in casualised and precarious environments) organised militant industrial unions to fight back against their bosses. Faced with increasingly similar conditions today, can we build a New Unionism for the 21st century that transforms and revolutionises the modern labour movement?

Registration: £15 waged, £8 low-waged/ student, £4 unwaged.

Speakers and sessions are:
* How the socialists organised: the life and times of Tom Mann (Cathy Nugent and Charlie MacDonald)
* The movement for working-class self-education (Colin Waugh, further education activist, author of Plebs, the Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education)
* Finding a political voice: from New Unionism to Labour representation (Martin Thomas and Sam Greenwood)
* Organising the unorganised: (Mick Duncan, Unite p.c; Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison p.c.)
* From the Matchworkers to the Chainmakers – how women organised (Jill Mountford and Louise Raw, author of Striking a Light, The Bryant and May Matchwomen and their Place in History)
* What came next – The Great Unrest 1911-1914 (Edd Mustill)
* Organising at work today: using the ‘Troublemakers’ Handbook’ (Kim Moody, founder of Labor Notes magazine, academic, author — most recently US Labor in Trouble and Transition — and activist)
New Unionism 2012? How can we reinvigorate the labour movement?
Speakers include Eamonn Lynch (Bakerloo Line driver tube driver victimised for his union activity and reinstated following an RMT campaign) and Jean Lane (Workers’ Liberty and Tower Hamlets Unison)

Creche, cheap food and bookstalls

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub,Bangor, northWales)  

 

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

‘The Lamb’ by William Blake – set to music by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw3VloKBvZc

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

World Crisis

BEYOND PRECARIOUS LABOR: RETHINKING SOCIALIST STRATEGIES

A Conference sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics & The Socialist Register

May 12th and 13th, 2011

CUNYGraduateCenter

365Fifth Avenue@34th Street

Free and open to the public; no registration required

Final schedule TBA

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS include:

Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Patrick Bond, Professor and Director of the Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Ursula Huws, Professor of International Labour Studies at the Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University

Saru Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Center

Leo Panitch, Editor, the Socialist Register

Ai-Jen Poo, Domestic Workers United

Saket Soni, New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice

Hilary Wainwright, Co-editor of Red Pepper and Research Director of the New Politics Project of the Transnational Institute, Amsterdam

And many others …

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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

Global Economy

THE POLITICS OF LABOUR AND DEVELOPMENT

The Global Labour University is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2011 conference on “The Politics of Labour and Development” to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 28 to 30, 2011.

The global economic crisis has had a particularly hard-hitting impact on working people, their families and communities throughout the world. What is more, they also face an environmental crisis that is closely linked to the economic crisis. Together, these crises have intensified the dispossession of the commons (including both local resources and public goods such as health and education), the informalisation of labour, unemployment, national and global social inequality, and the “slummification” of cities.  Declining biodiversity, climate change and pollution are evidence of the impact of the crisis on the planet itself. Environmental degradation threatens viable livelihoods and endangers public health. Meanwhile the market imperatives get defining power over daily life, business interests tighten their stranglehold on the state logic and power is transferred to supranational institutions with limited democratic accountability, simultaneously narrowing electoral choices, and increasingly restrictions on protest.

Labour, as a key social force of the excluded majority, has a crucial role to play in countering the destructive logics of capitalism.  The politics of labour is about altering the balance of power away from capital and unelected bureaucracies toward labour and broader society.  The politics of labour is also about overcoming the multiple relations of power and oppression, including the economic, political, gender, ethnic and cultural, that contributes to and reproduce the power of the few and the subordination of the many. This has the
following dimensions:

1)      The workplace imperative: Labour’s attempts to reverse the declining wage share and extract as much of the social surplus created through mobilisation for higher wages and better working conditions, as can be seen in the recent strike wave in South Africa and other parts of the world. This is especially important as rising inequality has devastating effects on society, as more and more people are pushed to margins of production and consumption patterns.  For example, this includes issues of the distribution of productivity growth, minimum wages and basic income grants as well as policy issues of taxation and redistribution.

2)      New forms of power or leverage: With rising unemployment and increasing numbers of workers pushed into precarious forms of work, traditional sources of power are eroded, but new forms of power are being explored, often by the most marginalized and sectors traditionally ignored by labour movements.  Labour’s links to other social forces is crucial here.  This also raises questions about who constitutes the working class, with wider understandings of labour increasingly finding salience in innovative movements around the world.  The development of transnational linkages and networks is also an important dimension to the development of new forms of power and leverage.

3)      The policy imperative: Labour’s attempts, often in alliance with other groups in civil society, to pressure governments to  increase the social wage (public health, education, transport, housing, etc.), increase employment and change economic (and slowly environmental) policy accordingly.  For example, what would a “green new deal” look like? We also encourage papers that look at the conversion of industrial production into alternative forms of production and consumption as well as papers looking at ecological issues.

What are the most effective ways to develop pro-working class policy? Corporatism seems to have spread, rather than declined, in the neo-liberal era: what is its balance sheet?

4)      Political parties, alliances and trade union organizations, and political power: Labour’s attempts to directly alter the balance of state power, either

a.      through alliances with ruling political parties,

b.      through the reorganization of trade union organizations and strategies,

c.      through the development of alternative organizations and alliances with other movements in civil society, or

d.      through building movements that refuse to participate in the state, but are willing to pressure it for reforms.

This raises questions about the role of labour—as a reforming force, as a legitimating function that hinders more radical challenges to state power, or as a central actor in building an alternative to the destructive logic of capitalist development.  The nature of political alliances and forms of mobilizing are vital issues that are being experimented on in various regions of the world (e.g., many movements in Latin America, South Korean marginalized workers, etc.). It also raises questions about international approaches to global governance.

5)      The economic imperative. Within the neoliberal framework, competitiveness becomes more aggressive and self-destructing through currency manipulation, quantitative easing, wage dumping, trade barriers, devaluation etc. Is there space for economic policy nationally and internationally that avoids the disadvantages of a competitive race to the bottom or a retreat in isolated economic nationalism?

6)      Alternative forms of production, consumption and redistribution: This raises questions about what are alternative forms of production and consumption.  For example, worker cooperatives, microcredit / microfinance projects (including its problems for informal sector workers), local agricultural production, and solidarity economy alternatives have emerged around the world.

We welcome submissions for papers on any of these themes.  While we  encourage submission of papers that broadly fit into the themes, we will also consider papers that do not fit directly into one of the themes as long as they address the broad focus of the conference. The GLU encourages policy orientated research and therefore welcomes submissions that not only analyses the problem, but also offer some policy initiatives and solutions for debate.

Please send a one page abstract (which includes your methodological approach) by January 30, 2011 to Pulane Ditlhake at Glu.SouthAfrica@wits.ac.za  and Michelle Williams at michelle.williams@wits.ac.za

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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

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

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

 

Strike

Strike

STRIKES AND SOCIAL CONFLICT IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

 

 

A message from Sjaak van der Velden: svv@iisg.nl

Call for Papers
International Conference
Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century
Lisbon, 17, 18, 19 March, 2011

The Institute of Contemporary History (New University of Lisbon), the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam), The Archive Edgard Leuenroth (Unicamp/Brasil), the Centre for the Study of Spain under Franco and Democracy (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (France) start the call for papers for the International Conference on Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century that will take place in Lisbon between 17 and 19 March 2011.
The twentieth century has been confirmed as the century when the capital-labour conflict was most severe. The International Conference on Strikes and Social Conflicts in the Twentieth Century will host submissions on the strikes and social conflicts in the twentieth century and works on the theoretical discussion on the role of unions and political organizations. We also invite researchers to submit papers on methodology and the historiography of labour.

We welcome submissions on labour conflicts that occurred in factories, universities or public services, on rural and urban conflicts and also on conflicts that developed into civil wars or revolutions. National and international comparisons are also welcome.

After the Russian revolution the relative strengths of capital and labour were never again the same, with a period of revolution and counter-revolution that ended with World War II. Protagonist of the victory over fascism, the labour movement found itself neglected in the core countries under the impact of economic growth in the 1950s and the 1960s. But May 1968 quickly reversed the situation, with a following boom of labour studies during the 1970s. Nevertheless once the crisis of the 1970s was over, capital has regained the initiative, with the deterioration of labour laws, the crisis of trade unions and the subsequent despise in the academy for the study of social conflicts. The recent crisis, however, shows that workers, the ones who create value, are not obsolete. The social movements regain, in the last decade, a central role in the world.

The intensification of social conflicts in the last decade promoted a comeback to the academia of the studies on labour and the social movements. This conference aims to be part of this process: to retrieve, promote and disseminate the history of social conflicts during the twentieth century.

The Scientific Committee:
Alvaro Bianchi (AEL)
Raquel Varela (IHC)
Sjaak van der Velden (IISH)
Serge Wolikow (MSH)
Xavier Domïnech (CEDIF)

Calendar:
Papers submission:   January 2010 – 30th June 2010
Notification of acceptance:  July 30th, 2010
Papers:  December 15th, 2010
Conference: March, 17-19, 2011

Important: The deadline for delivery of completed papers/articles is 15th December 2010. For reasons of translation no papers will be accepted after this date. The paper should be no longer than 4000 words (including spaces) in times new roman, 12, line space 1,5. For Registration Form see below.

Conference Languages: Conference languages are Portuguese, English, French and Spanish (simultaneous translation Portuguese/English).

Preliminary Program: The Conference will have sessions in the mornings and afternoons. There will be conferences of invited speakers, among other, Marcel van der Linden, Fernando Rosas, Serge Wolikow, Beverly Silver, Kevin Murphy, Ricardo Antunes, Alvaro Bianchi, Dave Lyddon, Xavier Domïnech. During the conference there will be an excursion guided by Prof. Fernando Rosas (Lisbon of the Revolutions); a debate about cinema and labour movement and a debate about Crisis and Social Change.

Thusday-17/03/11 Friday-18/03/11

Saturday-19/03/11
9:00 – 11:00 Opening Conference Sessions
Excursion: Lisbon of the revolutions (guide by Prof. Fernando Rosas)
11:15 – 13:15 Sessions  Sessions Sessions
13:15 � 14:30  Lunch Lunch Lunch
14:30 � 16:30 Sessions Sessions Sessions
16:45 � 18:45 Sessions Sessions Sessions
19:30 Debate: Movies and Working class in the twentieth century.
Debate: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it”. Crisis and Social Change.
21:00

Dinner (Uai)

Dinner (Portug�lia)

Dinner (Casa do Alentejo)

Conference Fees
Fees including dinners and excursion Lisbon of the Revolutions: 80 euros
Fees without dinners and excursion: free
Entrance free

Presidents/Research directors of the Institutes
Fernando Rosas (IHC)
Fernando Teixeira da Silva (AEL)
Marcel van der Linden (IISH)
Pere Y Solanes (CEDIF)
Serge Wolikow (MSH)

Registration form/Papers Submission
International Conference
Strikes and Social Conflicts around the World in the Twentieth Century
Lisbon, 17, 18, 19 March, 2011

For Registration/Papers Submission fill out this registration form and send it to ihc@fcsh.unl.pt

First Name:  Family Name:

Position: Professor/ Associate Professor/ Assistant Professor/ Lecturer/ Ph.D Candidate/ Postgraduate/ Independent Researcher etc..

University/Organization/Job:
Detailed Post Address (Important!):
City: 

Country:

Postcode:
Telephone: Mobile (Important): Email (Important):

Paper Title: Abstract (max 200 words)

Contact information:
Instituto de Hist�ria Contempor�nea/ Faculdade de Ci�ncias Sociais e Humanas (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Av. de Berna, 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal
E-Mail: ihc@fcsh.unl.pt

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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