Workers Control From the Commune to the Present
From the dawning of the industrial epoch, wage earners have organized themselves into unions, fought bitter strikes, and gone so far as to challenge the very premises of the sytem by creating institutions of democratic self-management aimed at controlling production without bosses. With specific examples drawn from every corner of the globe and every period of modern history, this pathbreaking volume comprehensively traces this often underappreciated historical tradition.
Workers’ Control and Workers’ Councils
Workers’ initiatives and government measures in Venezuela to increase workers’ participation in the management of their companies sharply contrast with institutional actions that intend to inhibit and reduce such participation. Despite this, the movement for workers’ control in Venezuela has grown in recent years and achieved some important victories in conflicts in state companies.
Recent years have seen a proliferation of recuperated workplaces around the globe, laying the foundations for a truly democratic workers’ economy.
In February 2016, a dozen former workers of a small woodworks plant in the small Greek town of Patrida, some 60 kilometers from Thessaloniki, had had enough. Since 2008 they had been tricked by the owners. With a promise to pay back everything soon, the bosses did not pay the workers their full salary anymore, reduced working hours and announced bankruptcy without making it official. But the situation never improved and the workers never saw their money. Finally, in December 2015, the plant closed.
NAHIMEN, Teoria eta Estrategia 2016/I
La Autonomía Comunal exige un desarrollo en todos los ámbitos productivos. El pensamiento es uno de esos ámbitos. Sin embargo, las facultades especializadas y los centros de investigación al servicio del Capital y los Estados, lo tienen bajo llave. Nahimen es un proyecto que apuesta por una estrategia de colectivización del pensamiento, por la reapropiación popular autónoma de ese espacio productivo. Nuestra revista quiere ser una herramienta más para ese fin: para contribuir a en que Euskal Herria se llegue a constituir el poder popular autónomo.
Note from the LeftEast editors: The following interview was originally published in Serbian at Mašina.rs
Dario Azzelini is a theoretician and political activist splitting time between Berlin and Caracas. He recently stayed in Belgrade to participate in the conference “Let’s bring socialism back into the game“. That gave us an opportunity to talk about different topics he addresses in his work – ranging from the question of Maduro’s election loss, the interrelation of art and politics, to cases of recuperations of workers’ factories throughout Europe.
Dario Acelini (Dario Azzelini) je teoretičar i politički aktivista koji živi na relaciji Berlin – Karakas. Tokom njegove nedavne posete Beogradu i učešću na konferenciji „Vratimo socijalizam u igru“ imali smo priliku da razgovaramo o različitim temama kojima se bavio u svom radu – od toga zašto je Maduro izgubio izbore, preko odnosa umetnosti i politike do radničkih preuzimanja fabrika po Evropi.
Talk on workers' recuperated companies (53 min. with discussion) at the CPE conference Building the Left from Below in Belgrade, Dezember 2015
Vio.Me. en Tesalónica fabricaba pegamento industrial, aislamientos y otros materiales de construcción químicos. En 2010 los trabajadores y trabajadoras fueron enviados cada 4 ó 6 semanas de vacaciones sin cobrar sueldo. Cuando en julio de 2011 el propietario dejó de pagar los salarios totalmente, los trabajadores decidieron ocupar la planta y hacerse cargo de su propio futuro. En febrero de 2013 Vio.Me.
Vio.Me. in Thessaloniki used to produce industrial glue, insulant and various other chemically derived building materials. In 2010 the workers agreed to be sent on unpaid leave every 4-6 weeks. Then the owners started reducing the workers’ wages, assuring them that it was only a temporary measure and they would soon be paid what they were owed. The owners’ main argument was that profits had fallen by 15 to 20 per cent. When the owners broke their promise to pay the back wages, the workers went on strike demanding to be paid.