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Syndicalism vs Coop Unions.

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  • Syndicalism vs Coop Unions.

    There seems to be many conflicts brewing against Manpower, an outsourcing company, by the syndicalist movement (or union, whichever you prefer I guess). They have unlawfully fired workers because of petty "inconveniances". Taking days of to stay with their infant children.
    Claiming labour rights according to law et al.

    There's been multiple blockades against Manpower offices and pamphlete distribution, and it seems they are getting through to more and more people. While the conventional unions leaders are, of course, rubbing cheeks with the bosses, and also getting drunk at fancy restaurants on our money!

    So what do you guys have to say about 'Syndicalism' in general?
    Is it just 'mob rule', or is it a democratizing movement?
    The steel union we have claims to have a vote every now and then for new union leaders into office.. I've never recieved any information in my mailbox or at work that would suggest this. It's probably an agreement reached behind closed doors, out of view from the workers they should be protecting.

  • #2
    Trade unbions are necessary !

    too bad !

    Seriously :

    Without trade unions, firms will have a biggest hand on workers. The action of trade unions are one of the main causes of social progress. It is not by chance that independant trade unions are forbidden in dictatorships.

    But, as every human organisation, trade unions become bureaucracy and leaders become professionals of trade unionisms as politicians become professionals of politics, far away fro the preoccupations of their constituents.

    The recent evolution has wreakened trade unionism, less members and more bureaucracy, and social regression !
    Last edited by Morgan Kane; 09-25-2006, 11:33 PM.

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    • #3
      I may sound like I'm being a bit sarcastic here, but I assure you that I'm being (sadly) serious.

      We don't have a dialogue about this in the US anymore, as organized labor (and indeed labor in general) is becoming increasingly marginalized in economic and political conversation. Even traditionally powerful labor unions like the UAW and Teamsters are far less important in national conversations...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Doc
        I may sound like I'm being a bit sarcastic here, but I assure you that I'm being (sadly) serious.

        We don't have a dialogue about this in the US anymore, as organized labor (and indeed labor in general) is becoming increasingly marginalized in economic and political conversation. Even traditionally powerful labor unions like the UAW and Teamsters are far less important in national conversations...
        Hmm.. Sounds bad enough.. Well, how are the workers faring in the states in general?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Theocrat
          So what do you guys have to say about 'Syndicalism' in general?
          What do you mean by "syndicalism"? In the UK it applied to the theory of revolutionary unionism which was popular before WW1. It was pretty well summed up in a document called The Miners' Next Step produced in the Welsh coalfields in 1912. The basic idea is that militant trade unions would form the nucleus of the new socialist society and take over the running of industry after a decisive general strike. There are still a few anarcho-syndicalists around, but basically the idea is part of labour history.

          Or are you talking about militant trade unionism in general versus the co-operative "partnership" approach?

          If so, this is a complex issue. I think that some aspects of partnership are desirable, as cooperation is necessary to boost production, but unions need to be proactive and militant when it comes to advancing the interests of workers with regards to the distribution of profits. If they sell out to management, then members will lose trust in the union leadership and will not enter into partnership in good faith anyway.

          Sadly, "partnership" has not delivered in the UK, and paired studies of firms with / without partnership agreements show no improvements for workers interms of pay, conditions or job security. Also the claims of partnership to increase productivity prove overall to be unfounded, and you find that studies recommending partnership base their arguments on single firm case studies rather than across the board statistiscal evidence.

          Unfortunately the type of partnership preferred by New Labour is based on an imbalance of power and is all about unions acting as a conveyor belt to sell management initiatives to the workforce, and carry out governmental tasks such as delivering training, and now we are told by a government minister that we are supposed to be saving the planet from global warming as well. Better than going on strike against privatisation of public services and the ongoing decline of British industry of course!
          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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          • #6
            In Germany, constructive cooperation beetwen management and trade unions was one of the key of the german economic success for almost 40 years .......

            This did not exclude conflicts, sometimes, difficults. And the german trade unions play a cooperative role for their members.

            But the cooperation beetwen managers and trade unions, the fordist compromise, suppose a good will from the management.

            since the fall of URSS and globalisation, this has disappeared.

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            • #7
              Proper Union management looks after employees and companies interests combined. After all neither one can function without the other. The workers wages must be gauged by and equivalent to (or better than) the cost of living in their area and the company must produce a profit in order to remain operating as a viable commercial/industrial entity. If a company closes its doors because it is running in the red henceforth no more employees.
              As far as being privy to union information, a person/member has to attend union meetings regularly and get right in the Business agents faces in order to achieve accurate results.
              Last edited by voilodian ghagnasdiak; 09-30-2006, 11:52 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mikey_C
                What do you mean by "syndicalism"? In the UK it applied to the theory of revolutionary unionism which was popular before WW1.
                Anarcho-syndicalism was what I was refering to. Black and Red flag.

                Originally posted by Mikey_C
                Or are you talking about militant trade unionism in general versus the co-operative "partnership" approach?
                Well the cooperative approach is really under fire these days. Since union leaders aren't elected on a purely democratic basis. It's more like nepotism. We are left to our own devices mostly. The union we have is 'somewhat' active. But others are just superfluous and inactive.

                Originally posted by Mikey_C
                Unfortunately the type of partnership preferred by New Labour is based on an imbalance of power and is all about unions acting as a conveyor belt to sell management initiatives to the workforce, and carry out governmental tasks such as delivering training, and now we are told by a government minister that we are supposed to be saving the planet from global warming as well. Better than going on strike against privatisation of public services and the ongoing decline of British industry of course!
                Yeah. They keep saying that industrialist age is over.
                Now it's ecologist rhetoric, instead of socialist/liberal rhetoric, thats implemented by politicians to produce a better voter turnout.
                In a way, it's both funny and sad to see that people think governments politicians can wave a magic wand and produce more jobs for the unemployed, just by saying they will enlarge, either the public sector, or yield to business demands of cutting social welfare et al. All governments do by themselves is make situations a little better, or a little worse. The old fordist/keynesian consensus era is relatively over, where both the private and public sector worked together on creating more aggregate demand and saw it as a mutually benifitial approach. The problem became evident later on with more debt, high rate of inflation et al.

                BTW. The kaizening/JIT I mentioned some years ago happening at my job isn't going that well. They are almost back to square one. Our new boss is not happy with us having to sift around papper (i.e. unnecessary information) instead of working on production, and instead of individual produced units we are returning to small batch production. Audits are becoming a rarity.

                How are things on your end Mikey?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Theocrat
                  Hmm.. Sounds bad enough.. Well, how are the workers faring in the states in general?
                  Ver, very poorly. Our union history is built on industrial labor, and no analogous movement has started with service sector workers. I had some hopes for white-collar unions, but the public response to their strikes are puzzling. For instance, when teachers' unions strike, the public often acts as if they are shirking their responsiblities to the community, and should just take whatever contracts they are offered. Teaching isn't supposed to be about the money, so much public thinking goes. (As an aside, this thinking may also explain some of the present state of American public education.)

                  The American public doesn't hold "professional associations" to the same standard, however. The American Medical Association carries a great deal of weight, in part because most people do not consider it a union, and certainly do not consider physicians labor.

                  That may be the core of problems with American labor. People seem to forget that anyone who works for pay is labor, regardless of titles or responsibilities.

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                  • #10
                    I get perturbed at people that keep asking me about job duration and security.
                    Whenever I get asked how long that I think I will be employed for, my response is: "Until they stop handing me paychecks."
                    The sad thing that no one wishes to face up to is that in the end we are all just disposable consumables.....
                    But it beats the shit out of welfare.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by voilodian ghagnasdiak
                      The sad thing that no one wishes to face up to is that in the end we are all just disposable consumables.....
                      But it beats the shit out of welfare.
                      I get your drift.
                      And in the long run.. We are all dead!

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                      • #12
                        Theocrat Wrote:
                        And in the long run.. We are all dead!
                        Like Benny Hill's From Womb To Tomb skit?
                        I didnt mean to come across as being that fatalistic.
                        I have been layed off on more than one occasion for working too hard and making others look bad. What kind of Pretzel logic is that?
                        What I originally meant was that nobody is totally secure at their place of employment, not even bosses and owners.
                        And I dont give a Fiddlers Flying F**K anymore.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by voilodian ghagnasdiak
                          Theocrat Wrote:
                          Like Benny Hill's From Womb To Tomb skit?
                          I didnt mean to come across as being that fatalistic.
                          I have been layed off on more than one occasion for working too hard and making others look bad. What kind of Pretzel logic is that?
                          What I originally meant was that nobody is totally secure at their place of employment, not even bosses and owners.
                          And I dont give a Fiddlers Flying F**K anymore.
                          I'm somewhat fatalistic at times too, so what?
                          Of course "nobody is safe", what I do think is a real problem is that people mostly victimize themselves, and logically make a "cocoon around themselves", thinking they are 'more safer' that way. At least the syndicalists seem outgoing and want to change the hierachies which in fact indirectly endorses most of this behaviour.

                          "Pretzel logic"?= Here in Scandinavia it's called 'The Law Of Jante'. Huh!
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jante_Law

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doc
                            Ver, very poorly. Our union history is built on industrial labor, and no analogous movement has started with service sector workers. I had some hopes for white-collar unions, but the public response to their strikes are puzzling. For instance, when teachers' unions strike, the public often acts as if they are shirking their responsiblities to the community, and should just take whatever contracts they are offered. Teaching isn't supposed to be about the money, so much public thinking goes. (As an aside, this thinking may also explain some of the present state of American public education.)

                            The American public doesn't hold "professional associations" to the same standard, however. The American Medical Association carries a great deal of weight, in part because most people do not consider it a union, and certainly do not consider physicians labor.

                            That may be the core of problems with American labor. People seem to forget that anyone who works for pay is labor, regardless of titles or responsibilities.
                            I read that there are shortages of up to 200 000 teachers in the US. Is this true? www.edschools.org
                            "Yet the report`s most stunning admission is that nobody knows what makes a good teatcher today."

                            I thought about going into teaching. But then i found out that "the pay sucks", and "we aren't allowed to stray from the schoolplan and take some creative initiatives of our own." i.e. It still seems like a bad idea!

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                            • #15
                              The matter with syndicalism is that globalisation shows that the class strugle is going on ....

                              No more fordian/keynesian compromise !

                              But the ideological work has been so perfectly done that most workers do not realise that they are consumables .... and accept the way, the things are organised for the profit of corporations .

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