The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Austerity and Resistance: The politics of labour in the Eurozone crisis.

Europe is haunted by austerity. Public sectors across the EU are cut back and working class gains from the post-war period seriously undermined (see also Reflections on the Eurozone crisis). In this blog post, I will assess the causes of the crisis, its implications for workers and discuss the politics of labour in response to the Eurozone crisis.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

SIGTUR – A movement of democratic unions of the Global South

Trade unions are still searching for an adequate response to the onslaught on workers’ rights as a result of neo-liberal globalisation, manifested in an increasing transnationalisation of production processes, the emergence of an integrated global financial market and the informalisation of working contracts. Employers increasingly play off different national labour movements against each other as a result of global restructuring. SIGTUR, the Southern Initiative on Globalisation and Trade Union Rights, is a specific international response by labour movements from the Global South. In this guest post, Rob Lambert, the co-ordinator of SIGTUR, outlines the organisation’s objectives, history and strategies towards a better world order.

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Age of Austerity: Fighting Cuts and Privatisation – The proliferation of food banks!

‘A mother walks four and a half miles through the snow to a food bank for some handouts to feed her family. With her are two small children, their shoes full of holes. She has put plastic bags around their feet so that they are at least shielded against the wetness, if not the cold.’ This is not a sentence from one of Charles Dickens’ novels. This is a real story in 21st century austerity Britain.

In the fifth session of the series on the local impact of austerity policies, the UCU association at Nottingham University welcomed Nigel Webster, the Director of the Bestwood & Bulwell foodbank, for a talk about the proliferation of food banks in and around Nottingham.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Croatia joined an EU at war – class war!

Photo by Council of the EU
When Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July, the country joined an EU at war. It is a class war in which capitalist forces, the Troika (the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), national governments and the new European oligarchy have gone on the offensive to dismantle the welfare state and defeat the trade union movement. Croatia’s accession to the EU will, in other words, serve some Croatians’ economic, social and political interests while it will undermine and weaken others’ – mainly those of workers and trade unions. In this guest post, Asbjørn Wahl analyses from a labour perspective the dynamics underlying the current state of European integration.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

SIGTUR’s Futures Commission and the search for alternatives in and beyond capitalism!

On 24 and 25 June, I participated in the first meeting of the Southern Initiative on Globalisation and Trade Union Rights’ (SIGTUR) Futures Commission. The meeting was hosted by Eddie Webster in the Chris Hani Institute in Johannesburg/South Africa and supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. A group of left-wing intellectuals and trade union representatives was entrusted with the task to undertake the first steps towards developing concrete alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation. In this post, I will reflect on some of the key discussions during the two days.