29 episodes

A podcast about trade union issues and labour history.

Labour Days: a labour movement podcast Labour Days

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    • 4.9 • 15 Ratings

A podcast about trade union issues and labour history.

    Ep 28 – Workplace Occupations and Sit-Down Strikes

    Ep 28 – Workplace Occupations and Sit-Down Strikes

    Edd takes us through the history of the tactic of workplace occupations, and we discuss their re-emergence in Britain and Ireland in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash. We're very lucky to be joined by Jaymie Rigby, one of the workers who occupied the Vestas wind turbine blades factory on the Isle of Wight in 2009. As we face a new wave of job losses, can we rediscover these tactics?

    Some selected additional reading:

    “How sit-down strikes built unions in the USA” https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2009/04/07/how-sit-strikes-built-unions-usa

    Genora Johnson remembers the Flint sit-down strike
    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/dollflint.html

    “With Babies and Banners”, documentary film on the Flint strike, focusing particularly on the role of women activists
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa75V-tdBko

    France 1968:
    https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2018-05-21/france-1968-when-ten-million-workers-took-capitalism-throat

    https://libcom.org/library/general-strike-france-1968-factory-factory-account

    Workers' Liberty's pamphlet on the Vestas occupation
    https://www.workersliberty.org/files/2020-11/vestas.pdf

    “Lessons of the Thomas Cook occupation”
    https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2009/08/29/thomas-cook-lessons-dublin-occupation

    An account of the Visteon occupations from a broadly libertarian/anarchist perspective
    https://pasttenseblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/today-in-london-radical-history-visteon-workers-occupy-their-factory-enfield-2009/

    Articles on the occupied workplace movement in Argentina:
    https://libcom.org/library/occupying-resisting-producing-argentine-workers-take-over-abandoned-factories-andres-gau

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/mar/10/occupy-buenos-aires-argentina-workers-cooperative-movement

    https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2017-07-26/factory-without-bosses (interview with a worker from the Zanon “FaSinPat”, “factory without bosses”)

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Ep 27: Strikes for Black Lives, with guest Robert Cuffy

    Ep 27: Strikes for Black Lives, with guest Robert Cuffy

    What role has organised labour played in anti-racist and civil rights struggles, past and present? We look at recent actions by workers and unions as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the historic role of black workers' organisers and socialists in the US civil rights struggle. We also discuss the unfortunate presence in the US labour movement of “unions” representing the police, and what might be done to challenge that.

    This episode also features an excerpt of an interview with Robert Cuffy, a Guyanese socialist currently based in New York, where he's a public sector working and trade union activists. Robert is a member of the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

    Relevant/featured links for our segments are:

    Edd:

    A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today, Paul Le Blanc and Michael D. Yates (2013)
    https://monthlyreview.org/product/a_freedom_budget_for_all_americans/

    'At The River I Stand' (film about the Memphis sanitation workers' strike)
    https://www.kanopy.com/product/river-i-stand

    Ellie:

    https://www.npr.org/2020/06/13/876640607/calls-for-reform-put-minneapolis-police-union-leader-in-hot-seat?t=1598950697168&t=1598964381985

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/11/police-unions-american-labor-movement-protest?fbclid=IwAR26ge7rjkROHYLmBbbIjnuGOW8WqOb_X-GWplVWfjjKkfpjGJm_ALoGG_E

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/27/white-supremacists-militias-infiltrate-us-police-report?fbclid=IwAR3gx0KakrQ6ZHq3hr-oGC4GHjmpanlEJej5IGxmXpQAWKa7vHmi-ZB3tUA

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/01/the-bad-kind-of-unionism/

    https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/faultlines/2016/12/contract-chicago-police-union-161205084413414.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/05/minneapolis-police-union-bob-kroll-us

    Daniel:

    https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/bv8zaw/minneapolis-bus-drivers-refuse-to-transport-george-floyd-protesters-to-jail

    https://labornotes.org/blogs/2020/06/west-coast-dockers-stop-work-honor-george-floyd

    https://jacobinmag.com/2020/06/george-floyd-ilwu-work-stoppage-antiracism

    https://apnews.com/d33b36c415f5dde25f64e49ccc35ac43

    https://j20strikeforblacklives.org

    The full interview with Robert Cuffy isn't up yet, but there's a transcript of an extended excerpt here: https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2020-08-12/black-youths-were-able-bring-along-rest

    • 51 min
    Ep 26: 'Class Power on Zero Hours': an interview with the Angry Workers

    Ep 26: 'Class Power on Zero Hours': an interview with the Angry Workers

    This episode features an interview with two comrades from the Angry Workers, a revolutionary collective whose members have been involved in workplace and community organising activity in the supermarket, food, and logistics sector in west London.

    Their new book, 'Class Power on Zero Hours', is available to buy now from PM Press: https://pmpress.org.uk/product/class-power-on-zero-hours/

    The Angry Workers are online at https://angryworkersworld.wordpress.com/

    Anyone interested in the issue of class struggle in the logistics sector should also listen to our interview with Kim Moody, about his book 'On New Terrain': https://soundcloud.com/labour-days/episode-10-on-new-terrain-an-interview-with-kim-moody

    However you're struggling through the pandemic... keep struggling. Solidarity!

    You might find these websites useful resources for class struggle in the pandemic:

    Safe & Equal campaign - safeandequal.org
    Coronavirus Workforce Support Group - facebook.com/groups/coronasupportgroupforworkers
    Hazards Magazine - hazards.org
    Nurses United - facebook.com/nursesuniteduk
    Zero Hours Justice - zerohoursjustice.org
    Blacklist Support Group - facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG
    Care Workers vs Covid - unisonnw.org/care_workers_vs_covid_19

    • 39 min
    Ep 25: Three Strikes And Out

    Ep 25: Three Strikes And Out

    In a break from pandemic-related content, our hosts each pick a little-known, unusual, or otherwise distinctive strike from history, and briefly tell its story.

    Daniel spoke about the artisan tomb builders’ strike from ancient Egypt in 1157 BCE; Ellie chose the strike of Haudenosaunee (“Iroquois”) women in the 1600s, which was a strike of domestic and reproductive labour; and Edd talked about the “Skylab controversy”, a strike of three Nasa astronauts in 1973, the first strike in space.

    The main sources they used for research are linked below.

    Solidarity, stay safe, and take care.

    References:

    Daniel:

    https://libcom.org/history/records-of-the-strike-in-egypt-under-ramses-iii

    https://dianabuja.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/food-strikes-in-ancient-egypt-the-turin-strike-papyrus-etc/

    http://edithorial.blogspot.com/2018/02/classics-and-strike-action-ancient-and.html?m=1

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/steep-commute-gave-ancient-egyptian-workers-osteoarthritis

    https://www.ancient.eu/article/1089/the-first-labor-strike-in-history/

    Ellie:

    http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2008/05/iroquois-women.html

    https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/iroquois-women-gain-power-veto-wars-1600s

    https://www.haudenosauneeconfederacy.com/clan-system/

    Edd:

    https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-that-day-three-nasa-astronauts-20151228-column.html

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab_controversy

    • 26 min
    Ep 24: Coronavirus Pandemic - No Class Peace in the Crisis

    Ep 24: Coronavirus Pandemic - No Class Peace in the Crisis

    A special episode produced in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, looking at how bosses are attempting to exploit the crisis, and what workers are doing to resist it.

    In such a fast moving situation, a lot of the situations we discuss had changed more or less as soon as the episode was recorded, so some of the stuff in this episode will now be out of date. There are also lots of other ongoing and developing workers’ struggles which we didn’t mention, with new ones springing up all the time. We’re trying to boost as many of those as we can on our Twitter, so follow us at @Labour_Days.

    You can read more about some of the struggles Edd mentions in his section here:

    https://www.labornotes.org/2020/03/dispatch-italy-class-struggle-time-coronavirus

    https://www.labornotes.org/2020/03/rank-and-file-auto-workers-demand-national-shutdown-union-officials-partner-companies-keep

    The Raymond Challinor essay we review in our section about the Blitz is online here: https://www.workersliberty.org/story/2019-04-11/class-war-blitz-raymond-challinor

    • 30 min
    Ep 23: Discussing Yorkshire & Humber TUC's "Summer Patrols"

    Ep 23: Discussing Yorkshire & Humber TUC's "Summer Patrols"

    In our last episode of 2019, we speak to Caty and Chris, two activists involved in TUC Yorkshire and the Humber's "Summer Patrols" project. We discuss the aims of the project, and the broad horizon of organising young workers and reviving the labour movement.

    This episode was recorded in early November, before election fever really set in, so there isn't much election chat in this one. The list of disputes Edd mentions in the outro is also now somewhat out of date.

    You can read more about the Summer Patrols project here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/campaigns/2019-tuc-summer-patrol-young-workers. You can also follow TUC Yorkshire and the Humber on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tucyorkshumber

    We'll be back in 2020 with more class-struggle/industrial unionist/rank-and-file goodness.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Alex35292 ,

Great listen

It's funny, interesting, and inspiring, and I am always excited for the next episode. The presenters make labour history exciting for everyone..thanks Ellie Edd Dan and Liam I've learned loads

Edwhitby ,

Serious class struggle socialism

These guys take a serious look at the history of our movement with an irreverent attitude to the present leaders of our class
Listen to this.

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