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strike

"If you want a General Strike organize your co-workers" An Interview with Joe Burns, author of Reviving the Strike

An Interview with Joe Burns, author of Reviving the Strike at Lawrence, Mass. Bread and Roses Centennial, April 28th, 2012

by Camilo Viveiros
Original interview: Activism2Organizing.org

Introduction

Many in the Occupy movement have called for a general strike on May 1st but most Occupy activists aren’t involved in labor organizations or organized in their workplaces. While General Assemblies may be somewhat effective institutions at reaching the agreement of assorted activists around future direct actions, workplace stoppages require the large scale participation of workers in decision-making structures. The interview below gives some organizing advice for those who have called the general strike. I hope that this interview will inspire Occupy activists to consider the difficult work ahead that is needed to build democracy in the workplace. We are the 99%!

Nursing Home Workers Begin Second Day of Unfair Labor Practice Strike at Spectrum Homes

Friday, April 16, 2010 -- Nurses, nursing assistants and elder-care support staff at skilled nursing homes operated by Spectrum Healthcare are hitting the picket lines again this morning in four Connecticut towns.

Almost 400 caregivers at the four facilities - Birmingham Health Center in Derby, Hilltop Health Center in Ansonia, Laurel Hill Health Center in Winsted and Park Place in Hartford went on strike over Unfair Labor Practices on the part of their corporate operator, Spectrum. Caregivers at the four striking homes have been working under the terms of their previous contracts, which expired more than a year ago (March 15, 2009).

Shaw’s Strikers Rally as Health Care Is Cut

METHUEN, Mass. — Striking workers of Shaw’s distribution center here planned rallies at various Shaw’s locations Thursday to protest the retailer’s actions to hire replacement workers and cut off health insurance for striking workers, union sources said.

Common Struggle Workplace Position Paper

Adopted at the eleventh federation congress,
November 5-6, 2005, Sherbrooke, Quebec

The struggle toward libertarian communism must be brought about by the whole of the working class, the workplace and labor unions are an essential point of agitation and struggle. Anarchist-communists must organize within the ranks of labor unions, active in this struggle as both advocates of social revolution and as fellow workers in a collective battle against exploitation.

Class struggle is by no means confined to workplace. Class conflict occurs everyday in neighborhood-based battles for decent housing, the fight for welfare, the battles for access to quality education, the struggle against prisons and police brutality, in the arena of popular culture, and especially against racism, sexism, and other oppressions that stratify and divide the working class. However, as anarchist-communists, we have a particular strategic interest in workplace struggles due to the ability to directly challenge the material interests of the capitalist class

Independent rank-and-file tendencies within existing unions, coupled with workplace resistance groups, solidarity networks, and, eventually, workplace assemblies and coordinating councils, provide a glimpse at the kind of self-managed workers movement needed to not only effectively challenge the employers, but also develop the unity and revolutionary class consciousness needed to overthrow the capitalist social order.

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