Book launch: An Alternative Labour History. Worker Control and Workplace Democracy

Presentation of "An Alternative Labour History: Worker Control and Workplace Democracy" (Zed Books) edited by Dario Azzellini. The global financial crisis has led to radical forms of protest and new workers’ takeovers have sprung up all over the globe. In the US, Republic Windows and Doors started production under worker control in January 2013. Later that year workers in Greece took over and managed a hotel, a hospital, a newspaper, a TV channel and a factory. The dominant revolutionary left has viewed workers' control as part of a system necessary during a transition to socialism. Yet most socialist and communist parties have neglected to promote workers' control as it challenges the centrality of parties and it is in this spirit that trade unions, operating through the institutional frameworks of government, have held a monopoly over labor history. "An Alternative Labour History" uncovers the practices and intentions of historical and contemporary autonomous workers’ movements that until now have been largely obscured. And, as history has repeatedly shown, workers have always had the capacity to run their enterprises on their own. The examples in the book range from the Austrian Revolution of 1918-1919, to worker self-organization under Allende in Chile (1970-1973), 'Production Control' in Japan, the Factory Commissions in Brazil in the 1960's and 70's to contemporary Europe, Mexico and Uruguay.

With Dario Azzellini, Godfrey Vincent and Claudia Bernardi

Session 3, Room 1.124 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York | 524 West 59th Street | New York, NY 10019 | United States