No strike clauses and the IWW

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Mike Harman
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Dec 28 2007 21:12
revol68 wrote:
exactly cantdo, John has simpyl conflated Union in the sense critiqued by left communists and even anarcho syndicalists with any mass organisation.

O RLY.

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The fact we are in no position to pretend there is a mass revolutionary organisation in no way means that there can never be such an organisation outside of 'revolutionary times' (and you have used that choice of phrase, John.) .

You've not shown up to answer my points on the new thread I started, but then I expected nothing better.

Mike Harman
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Dec 28 2007 21:26
booeyschewy wrote:
catch-

I'm still confused. Do you think that i'm one of the people defending it? If so, I've given a bad impression. I'm just pissed about the way people have been airing these criticisms (not so much you though), and how they've interpreted them.

I think some of the reactions on here (not necessarily yours) have been more about protecting the IWW as an organisation - usually by trying to discredit those making criticisms (what do you do? what have you done? who have you organised?) - than attempting to deal with the issues in an upfront way. This doesn't mean I think those people are happy about the no strike contracts, it means I think they're overly defensive. When people get defensive about something as shitty as this, alarm bells start ringing.

Oliver wrote:
I think this is why people are confused about oliver. It is possible to be in an organization, but disagree with the direction of minority, but also not necessarily be in a position to do something about it immediately... and not think splitting is a good idea. Does that make sense?

Well it does. However from the outside, it looks like those of you in the IWW interested in workers's networks will have to split one way or the other at some point unless the 'unionists' give up and go home by themselves. Also I don't think you get anything special out of being in the IWW particularly - and all the baggage clearly causes issues.

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Personally I buy the critiques of unions from the councilists and malatesta. For a long time, like Oliver, I argued that the iww should stop calling itself a union. Others convinced me that it is semantic, that we are just broadening the word union and it used to be more broad/we'd just confuse people more.

Well, I don't think it's semantic at all. Unions have a historic meaning, and the word carries certain expectations in the minds of just about everyone. Clearly you have people in the IWW who really think it's a 'union' - and are trying to do stuff that unions do - so it does matter. Not claiming to be a union would cut a lot of that out.

Mike Harman
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Dec 28 2007 21:39
EdmontonWobbly wrote:
but again I really don't get this division between 'workers' and 'politicos'. I mean its pretty obvious revol is both, and so am I. I find it really odd that our own self activity and organizing is treated as something alien to ourselves merely by virtue of the fact that we are organized and pissed off and have a program.

You don't think that much 'revolutionary' political activity during the past century has been characterised by a complete alienation from daily life then? From the CPs to the trot sects to '70s cults to summit hopping and myriad other examples. That dynamic - towards either mindless activism or subcultural withdrawal, is always around, especially during periods of class retreat. So I think it's pretty important to recognise it's there, and be wary of any tendencies towards it. Also, both here and in the US (but maybe not Canada?), there are people who are full-time politicos and removed almost entirely from the world of work - both permanent dolies-by-choice or trust-fundies could fall into this category although the former has largely disappeared, not to mention full-timers paid for by political organisations.

Mick Black
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Dec 30 2007 19:36
thugarchist wrote:
Are articles from the IW online anywhere? I'd be interested in the recent December issue with the article on the CAW-Magna deal. I believe its titled... 'CAW-Magna no-strike pact: pragmatism or sell-out?'

The new issue of the IW is now on the http://iww.org website and can be downloaded as a pdf

As for that article, I actually was suprised at how "balanced" it was. In my opinion it was way too soft on the CAW / Magna "Framework of Fairness" but was interesting in that it delved deeper than just the no-strike clause and got into how even by trade union standards the agreement undermines union democracy.

Though it should be noted that "Articles not so designated do not reflect the IWW's offical position".

On a more general note there's a lot of decent analysis about the CAW / MAGNA sweetheart deal around if you care to look for it, however I'm going to be baised and point you to the interview I did with Bruce Allan of CAW local 199 Sweetheart Deals & Solidarity Unionism

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thugarchist
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Dec 30 2007 19:39
Mick Black wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Are articles from the IW online anywhere? I'd be interested in the recent December issue with the article on the CAW-Magna deal. I believe its titled... 'CAW-Magna no-strike pact: pragmatism or sell-out?'

The new issue of the IW is now on the http://iww.org website and can be downloaded as a pdf

As for that article, I actually was suprised at how "balanced" it was. In my opinion it was way too soft on the CAW / Magna "Framework of Fairness" but was interesting in that it delved deeper than just the no-strike clause and got into how even by trade union standards the agreement undermines union democracy.

Though it should be noted that "Articles not so designated do not reflect the IWW's offical position".

On a more general note there's a lot of decent analysis about the CAW / MAGNA sweetheart deal around if you care to look for it, however I'm going to be baised and point you to the interview I did with Bruce Allan of CAW local 199 Sweetheart Deals & Solidarity Unionism

I already read your piece. The Magna deal is still a bit mind-boggling to me. I'd like to actually read the agreement rather than political interpretations of it though. There was a similar controversy on alliance agreements in my union, but even our softest agreement doesn't seem to go anywhere near as far as the CAW did.

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robot
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Jan 25 2008 06:58
OliverTwister wrote:
The CNT-E does not negotiate with bosses, and they call for all negotiations that take place to be done through a general assembly of workers and not through unions.

We is this information from? AFAIK the CNT-E of course does negotiate with bosses (see Minit Colors, VAW Arvato and many others). The CNT as well sign contracts with the management. They mostly (though I guess not necessarily always) try to base those negotiations on what a workers assambly decided. But I heard of no case so far where the CNT-E signed a no-strike clause. Such clauses are not very comon in Spain so far, in difference e.g. to German labour law under which every bargaining contract must contain a no-strike clause for a at least 12 months. One reason amongst others why the FAU for instance does not sign bargain contracts at all.

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OliverTwister
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Jan 25 2008 11:05
robot wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
The CNT-E does not negotiate with bosses, and they call for all negotiations that take place to be done through a general assembly of workers and not through unions.

We is this information from? AFAIK the CNT-E of course does negotiate with bosses (see Minit Colors, VAW Arvato and many others). The CNT as well sign contracts with the management. They mostly (though I guess not necessarily always) try to base those negotiations on what a workers assambly decided. But I heard of no case so far where the CNT-E signed a no-strike clause. Such clauses are not very comon in Spain so far, in difference e.g. to German labour law under which every bargaining contract must contain a no-strike clause for a at least 12 months. One reason amongst others why the FAU for instance does not sign bargain contracts at all.

My understanding was that the encourages direct negotiation between the workers assembly and the management?

Anwyas good post Booey, i agree.

Mark.
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Jan 25 2008 21:48
revol68 wrote:
I think it will sign contracts that are agreed by the assemblies that are also inline with it's principles and membership wishes but won't sign those that aren't regardless of them being accepted by the wider assemblies.

This is what happened with the Madrid metro cleaners strike - There was an agreement that everyone was fairly happy with until management came back with a last minute demand for the inclusion of a "social peace" clause (this isn't a no-strike clause - although its meaning and importance seem to be in dispute). The agreement was backed by an overwhelming majority in an assembly - probably partly because it included the reinstatement of 50 workers who'd been sacked during the strike - but the CNT and SUT refused to sign it.