Il y a quelques jours à peine, alors qu’une première rencontre des membres du Comité d’organisation pour un Syndicat des coursiers et coursières à vélo chez Sprig.Inc à San Francisco était organisée, l’employeur décréta l’équivalent d’un lock-out d’une semaine suivi d’un retour au travail avec un horaire coupé de moitié.
Les coursiers et coursières à vélo qui ne faisait déjà que 13,50 de l’heure, soumis à une politique de la compagnie leur interdisant de recevoir un pourboire, ont ainsi vue leur horaire passer d’une trentaine d’heure par semaine à de 3h à 15h seulement. Alors que les organismes qui se sont penchés sur la question évaluent le salaire décent à 14,37 pour la région de San Francisco, rappelons que les coursiers et coursières font un métier aussi exigeant physiquement que dangereux. On exige notamment qu’ils et elles soient capable de franchir des distances de 3 à 5km en zone urbaine en moins de 15minutes.
Les membres du syndicat se sont déjà entretenu à de nombreuses reprises avec la direction de Sprig.Inc afin de demander une compensation pour les heures et les journées de travaillent qui furent coupé, de même que des augmentations de salaire et de meilleures conditions de travail, mais la partie patronale semble déterminer à laisser trainer l’affaire aussi longtemps que possible. Les coursiers et coursières à vélo de San Francisco, regroupé sous le Syndicat Industriel 540, en appellent donc à la solidarité des individus, des communautés et des organisations concernées à les appuyer dans leur démarche.
Pour support les coursiers et coursières à vélo en négociation:
The opinions stated in this article aren't necessarily those of the SITT-IWW and shouldn't be considered as such.
In these times of worldwide austerity, many have found themselves in precarious situations the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Second World War. As we did then and at times of other major disasters, we stand shoulder to shoulder and do whatever we can to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters from different backgrounds. So why aren’t we in solidarity with the Syrian refugees?
Be they Muslim, Christian, or atheist, these people are human beings, first and foremost, and it is our duty to come to their aide in their struggle for democracy and for better living conditions. Let it be told, as Quebecers, we are all immigrants as well. Is there really a difference between having arrived here 400 years or just a few days ago?
We speak of freedom of expression, to the point that some of us refuse Bill 59, but we’re offended when a woman uses her freedom of expression to wear a veil? If you’re afraid that this woman isn’t able to liberate herself as she sees fit, encourage education instead, that same education that the government constantly cuts without giving a thought to the consequences on our children.
Yet the debate that is causing such a stir in these upcoming elections is the veil. Because, even if crime rates go down, even if we have a very low incidence of terrorism here, especially when it comes to Islam, islamophobic propaganda makes for a much better campaign than actually talking about the important issues.
Let us put the hate and the ignorance that this propaganda can bring aside, we don’t want the ethnic genocides that we’ve seen with the Jewish holocaust or the Rwandan genocide for example. Beneath the colour of our skin, beyond our beliefs, we are all human, so let’s act like it!
With the week against police brutality coming up fast, as well as an important social movement emerging, it is important to remind ourselves of what role the police plays. More precisely, we would like to enumerate several reasons for which we oppose the police, wherever it is, wherever it’s from, and in every and all situations.
In our rotten societies, not a single week or day goes by without lengthening the list of injustices committed by members of the police. They have never hesitated to humiliate us, hurt us, play with our lives and those of our families and friends, and even to assassinate us if need be.
Strangely, we find that the people most repeatedly affected by these police ‘errors’ belong vastly to the working class, whether employed or not. Bosses, bankers, traders, and other living blight are spared from these problems. If wage-work dispossesses us each moment of our lives, the police reminds us that even our own lives no longer belong to us, since they have the right to take them away forever.
Whoever has even slightly participated in a social movement during their lifetime has very likely been confronted with the repressive force of the police, at one time or another. Riot police, tactical intervention teams, provincial police, and other forces of repression have the sole purpose of breaking strikes, preventing protests against the status quo, and repressing more or less violently all political opposition. This violence – that of the State – by constantly arming the police, by equipping them with military technology and ‘non-lethal’ weaponry, has given them the full ability to ‘control crowds’ almost entirely independently. There are jobs, and entire teams, whose social utility consists only in ‘breaking protesters’ more efficiently, more rapidly, and always more inhumanely.
To ensure the reproduction and the maintenance of its own domination, the ruling class has two tools at its disposal: ideology and violence. If ideology is diffused throughout society, and demands that everybody stay in line, then the role of violence is to bring deviants and dissenters back in line. The State, guarantor of class reproduction, ensures the monopoly of violence by means of the police. In other words, the social function of the police in its entirety is to ensure the maintenance of a class’s domination over another, whether ‘softly’ by applying the law, or by direct repression. As a revolutionary union, we wish to overthrow the dominant class, and as such are fundamentally opposed to its dominant ideology, and to its police.
Let us build solidarity with one another against the police.
The administration of VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI, a subsidiary of Filkeram-Johnson, has abandoned the factory since May 2011, along with its workers. In response, the workers of the factory abstain from work (epishesi ergasias: the legal right of workers to abstain from work should their employer delay their payment) since September 2011. The Workers Union at Viomihaniki Metalleutiki has organised 40 workers all of which are, to date (one year after the closure of the factory) active, taking shifts at the factory to ensure that no equipment is removed by the administration or stolen. All the workers also participate in the General Assemblies.
The proposal of the Union in order to escape this dead end – as the Administration has stated the factory will not reopen, due to the lack of funds – is for the factory to go into workers control, a proposal voted by 98% of the workers at the General Assembly. More specifically they ask for the factory to be passed on to the workers and for all the members of the Administration and workers sitting in the administrative council to resign, with no claims from the future workers’ self-management of the factory.
In regard to the initial capital, which is necessary for the operation of the factory, the proposal of the workers is for the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) to pay them in advance the sums they are already entitled to after becoming redundant.
Finally, the workers at Viomihaniki Metalleutiki demand the introduction of legal status for co-operative enterprises, in order for their own and for future initiatives to be legally covered.
In the struggle of the workers of Viomihaniki Metalleutiki, apart from the self-evident value that we see in every workers’ struggle and every workers’ demand, we also recognise an additional value, which comprises exactly of this proposal of self-management. We believe that the occupation and the re-operation of factories and corporations by their workers is the only realistic alternative proposal in face of the ever-increasing exploitation of the working class. The self-organisation of factories that close down is the only proposal that has the force to mobilise the working class – which, living under the constant threat of unemployment, cannot see ways in which it can resist.
We know that the difficulties we shall face in the struggle for the self-management of the factory are many, since state and capital will fiercely stand against it – as a possible victory shall create a precedent and and example for any other struggle in the country. Yet the question of whose hands the production lies in becomes a question of life and death for a working class pushed into degradation. For this reason, the workers’ struggles orientated in this direction and the forces standing in solidarity to these struggles should be prepared to clash with state and the administration in order to materialise the occupation of the means of production and the workers’ self-management.
We call for every union, organisation and worker to stand in solidarity to the struggle of the workers of VIOMIHANIKI METALLEYTIKI and to actively support the workers both financially and politically.
6pm at the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki.
Movement for Workers’ Emancipation and Self-Organisation
La Cour suprême de Terre-Neuve et Labrador a donné une injonction aux patrons pour aider à briser une grève sauvage sur un site de construction à Long Harbour.
Près de 2000 travailleurs ont illégalement cessé le travail jeudi, et ont par la suite réalisé le blocage des entrées du site. Les travailleurs sont en colère contre le niveau de la paie. Les travailleurs du site gagnent en moyenne 15$ de l’heure de moins que les travailleurs comparables ailleurs au Canada.
Une autre problématique est la façon de laquelle les patrons interprètent la convention collective; sur des questions comme les déplacements et les indemnités de subsistance.
De plus, les travailleurs sont en colère contre leur propre syndicat pour ne pas avoir défendu leurs intérêts. Bien entendu, le syndicat ne supporte pas l’action. Les patrons et le syndicat n’ont toujours pas commenté le conflit.
Strikes, workplace occupations, food banks, workers in Greece haven’t been paid for months, and are facing huge pay cuts. Some have gotten pay cheques of less than 10 €. We spoke to doctors, steel workers and journalists on strike and on the streets.
Workers’ self-directed enterprises are a solution grounded in the histories of both capitalism and socialism. Establishing workers’ self-directed enterprises completes what past democratic revolutions began in moving societies beyond monarchies and autocracies. Democratizing production can finally take democracy beyond being merely an electoral ritual that facilitates rule by the 1% over the 99%. -RD Wolff
As the Occupy movement keeps developing, it seeks solutions for the economic and political dysfunctions it exposes and opposes. For many, the capitalist economic system itself is the basic problem. They want change to another system, but not to the traditional socialist alternative (e.g., USSR or China). That system too seems to require basic change.
The common solution these activists propose is to change both systems’ production arrangements from the ground up. Every enterprise should be democratized. Workers should occupy their enterprise by collectively functioning as its board of directors. That would abolish the capitalist exploitative system (employer versus employee) much as our historical predecessors abolished the parallel exploitative systems of slavery (master versus slave) and feudalism (lord versus serf).
In workers’ self-directed enterprises, those who do the work also design and direct it and dispose of its profits: no exploitation of workers by others. Workers participate equally in making all enterprise decisions. The old capitalist elite — the major corporate shareholders and the boards of directors they choose — would no longer decide what, how, and where to produce and how to use enterprise profits. Instead, workers — in partnership with residential communities interdependent with their enterprises — would make all those decisions democratically.
Only then could we avoid repeating yet again the capitalist cycle: (1) economic boom bursting into crisis, followed by (2) mass movements for social welfare reforms and economic regulations, followed by (3) capitalists using their profits to undo achieved reforms and regulations, followed by (1) again, the next capitalist boom, bust, and crisis. US capitalism since the crash of 1929 displays this 3-step cycle.
In democratized enterprises, the workers who most need and benefit from reforms would dispose of the profits of enterprise. No separate class of employers would exist and use enterprise profits to undo the reforms and regulations workers achieved. Quite the contrary, self-directing workers would pay taxes only if the state secures those reforms and regulations. Democratized enterprises would not permit the inequalities of income and wealth (and therefore of power and cultural access) now typical across the capitalist world.
Actually existing socialist systems, past and present, also need enterprise democratization. Those systems’ socialization of productive property plus central planning (versus capitalism’s private property and markets) left far too much unbalanced power centralized in the state. In addition, reforms (guaranteed employment and basic welfare, far less inequality of income and wealth, etc.) won by socialist revolutions proved insecure. Private enterprises and markets eventually returned and erased many of those reforms.
Traditional socialism’s problems flow also from its undemocratic organization of production. Workers in socialized state enterprises were not self-directed; they did not collectively decide what, how, and where to produce nor what to do with the profits. Instead, state officials decided what, how, and where to produce and how to dispose of profits. If socialist enterprises were democratized, the state would then depend for its revenue on collectively self-directed workers. That would institutionalize real, concrete control from below to balance state power from above.
Workers’ self-directed enterprises are a solution grounded in the histories of both capitalism and socialism. Establishing workers’ self-directed enterprises completes what past democratic revolutions began in moving societies beyond monarchies and autocracies. Democratizing production can finally take democracy beyond being merely an electoral ritual that facilitates rule by the 1% over the 99%.