Workers of the World Unite (At Last) By Ronaldo Munck

26 April 2019 — Great Transition Initiative

Once seen as the vanguard of a new social order, the contemporary labor movement has been written off by many progressive activists and scholars as a relic of the past. They should not be so hasty. Rather than spelling the beginning of the end for organized labor, globalization has brought new opportunities for reinvention, and a sea change in both trade unions and the wider labor movement. Most notably, globalization has forced unions to think and act outside the state to build transnational solidarity across countries and sectors. Emerging transnational unionism, if it perseveres, contains the seeds of a new global movement, a new international that extends beyond labor to embrace all forces working toward a Great Transition.

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Labour, socialism & the search for a party By Terry Bell

5 April 2019 — Terry Bell Writes

[South Africa may be thousands of miles away but the debates on the left taking place there, are directly connected to the kinds of debates taking place here within and about the struggle for socialism. WB]

What will workers decide when faced with the confusion of 48 political parties listed for the national and provincial poll on May 8? Many clearly did not register to vote, some have said they will abstain, others remain uncertain about who to support.

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The Trade Union Bill is an attack on the NHS, our services, and all that it means to be British By Caroline Molloy

14 September 2015 — OurNHS

Tonight we see a party leader in hock to a narrow ideological clique and foreign interests, drastically out of touch with majority public opinion. Not Corbyn – Cameron. Will Tory MPs stop him before he does untold damage? 

Tonight, David Cameron attempts to drive through a bill which will make it ‘close to impossible’ for trade unions to take any lawful industrial action.

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On the environmental question, Sam Gindin has got it wrong By Brad Hornick

4 July 2014 — rabble.ca

[This is a response By Brad Hornick to Sam Gindin’s Unmaking Global Capitalism. WB]

Sam Gindin’s recent contributions to the The Bullet  and Jacobin explore the lost potential of the working class in revolutionary politics. On the economic and ecological fronts, he argues, working-class politics has been incapable of catalyzing widespread and consequential societal mobilization, or becoming vital sites of theoretical and practical struggle.

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Unmaking Global Capitalism By Sam Grindin

4 July 2014 — The Jacobin

[Two articles; this, the original essay and a response by By Brad Hornick On the environmental question, Sam Gindin has got it wrong. WB]

When Marx famously declared that while the philosophers have interpreted the world, the point is to change it, he was asserting that it was not enough to dream of another world nor to understand the dynamics of the present. It was critical above all to address the question of agency in carrying out transformative change. For Marx, that agent was the working class. The gap between workers’ needs and their actual lives — between desire and reality — gave workers an interest in radical change, while their place in production gave them the leverage to act.

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Video: New Working Class Leadership and the Prospects for Socialist Politics in South Africa

23 March 2013 — Leftstreamed

The dramatic upsurge of popular grass-roots protest in South Africa’s townships and rural areas in recent years has been well-termed as marking a virtual “rebellion of the poor” in that country. The working-class itself has also been assertive there, prompting the ANC-led state’s orchestration of an horrific massacre of dissident mine-workers at Marikana in 2012. Until recently, however, leading trade unions have themselves been cribbed and confined within the tri-partite governing coalition of the ANC, the South African Communist Party and COSATU, the country’s largest trade union central body. Now NUMSA – the country’s National Union of Metalworkers with over 340,000 members – has begun to break that mould, under the leadership of its General Secretary, Irvin Jim, a longstanding socialist militant in the union. At its Special National Congress in December it heralded a new socialist political direction for South Africa.

Toronto — 6 March 2014.

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The Gentification of the Left By Mike Wayne, Deidre O’Neill

19 August 2013 — New Left Project

The post-colonial philosopher Gayatri Spivak once famously asked: ‘Can the subaltern speak?’ Colonialism though is not just about race, it is also about that great unmentionable, class. And class colonization is one of the most central features of British social and political life. Continue reading

‘Rocking the Foundations’ — the story of Australia’s pioneering red-green trade union

14 August 2013 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

An outstanding historical account of the “Green Bans” first introduced by the communist-led New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) in the 1970s in response to community demand to preserve inner-city parkland and historic buildings. One of the first women to be accepted as a builders labourer, filmmaker Pat Fiske in 1985 traced the development of a union whose social and political activities challenged the notion of what a union should be. Continue reading