Radical media, politics and culture.


World's First Starbucks Strike Spreads to 10 Stores

Workers from stores across Auckland walked off the job today to join the world’s first Starbucks strike, held on Auckland’s counter-culture café strip, Karangahape Rd, New Zealand.

What began as a small protest by workers from one store became a
city-wide strike when Starbucks workers heard that managers would be brought in to cover the shifts of the striking K’Rd workers.

"What began as an event to highlight the poor conditions of low pay and minimum wage workers turned into a show of solidarity and strength between Auckland’s Starbucks workers," said Simon Oosterman, SuperSizeMyPay.Com campaign coordinator.

Rethinking Worlds of Labour: Southern African labour history in international context

A conference from Friday 28th to Monday 31st July 2006, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Organised by the History Workshop and the Sociology of Work Unit, at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Scholars of labour are invited to the upcoming "Rethinking Worlds of Labour: Southern African labour history in international context" conference, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from the 28th to the 31st July 2006.

The aims of the conference are to
1. Promote a transnational and regional view of labour history, with reference to southern Africa, and to comparisons of the less developed and semi-peripheral regions of the global "South"
2. To reflect on the implications of the "first" globalisation of the 1870s to the 1930s for the "second" globalisation that started in the 1970s
3. To foster collaborative work between scholars, particularly those based in Africa, Asia and Latin America

International perspectives

Although the southern African region is a core area of interest, the conference organisers welcome papers on aspects labour history in other regions that lend themselves to comparative and transnational analyses. Scholars from other regions of the global "South" are therefore especially welcomed.

It is anticipated that the conference will provide the basis for new and collaborative work on comparative and regional labour history, and the panels will be structured to draw together different themes in a stimulating manner.

With best wishes

The organising committee

Peter Alexander, Andries Bezuidenhout, Phil Bonner, Jon Hyslop, Noor Nieftagodien, Nicole Ulrich, and Lucien van der Walt.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any queries.

Click for the online conference web page.

The following analysis was originally published in Red and Black Revolution, produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement in Ireland.

The Nomad, the Displaced and the Settler Work in the 21st

In many countries there has been a debate as to the nature of the
changes in western workplaces; in Britain they talk about increased
casualisation of the workforce, in the US they talk about contingent
labour and on the European continent they use the language of
precarity. Central to in all these debates is the issue of job

A number of issues are being discussed. Firstly has the workplace
changed fundamentally such that people increasingly are in temporary
work rather than permanent work? Secondly is the division between
work time and non-work time dissolving, are we spending more of our
lives 'in work'? Thirdly are the non-work aspects of life becoming
increasingly insecure?

I found this hotel yesterday and it's pretty amazing, a twenty story modernist building that could be anywhere. Except that this hotel has been taken over by its workers, and is a fascinating example of 21st century self-management. Whe I saw The Take I was a bit sceptical about a prescription of the future based on the production of ceramics and suits in the fordist style, but the takeover movement is much broader than that, please see the book/directory Sin Patron for more details.

Help Save the Bauen Hotel

Dear Friends,

The movements of worker-run businesses in Latin America are growing, creating dignified democratic jobs in the rubble of neoliberalism¹s ruinous experiments on that continent.

In Caracas recently, the first pan-Latin meeting of recovered companies was a tremendous success, with 600 workers from 263 companies in eight countries taking the first steps to build an alternative trading network that will deepen and broaden the power of these new social movements.

Labor Notes Trouble Makers Training NYC November 12

Labor Notes is hosting a
New York Troublemakers' School! Join workers from around the city and
share ideas about how to fight back against unfair or abusive
employers. Learn on-the-job organizing skills, build networks with
other workplace activists, and meet some of the folks featured in A
Troublemaker's Handbook 2, new this year from Labor Notes.

When? Saturday November 12, 9:00am-7:00pm

Where? Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St. (in
lower Manhattan), Room N402.

Workshops will include:

Developing New Leaders: How do we get our co-workers to take
responsibility for fighting back at work and building a strong union?
This workshop will deal with the problem of turning sympathetic
co-workers into leaders and organizers on the job.

Mobilizing around Health and Safety: Health and safety problems
aren't just issues to grieve-- since these problems can affect all of
your co-workers, they can also create opportunities to organize. Come
learn how to mobilize around health and safety issues on the job.

Continuous Bargaining: Is management making changes to the workplace
that have negative impacts on you, your co-workers, and your union?
New technologies, new management policies, and new ways of organizing
work increase stress, eliminate jobs, and weaken unions. In this
workshop we will examine these changes and discuss "Continuous
Bargaining," a strategic approach to building our unions and
protecting workers in a changing workplace.

Working to Rule: Even when we can't go on strike, workers have the
power to win gains on the job and in negotiations with the boss. This
workshop will deal with different ways to pressure management from
within the workplace.

Fighting Racism and Building Unity at Work: No matter where you work,
chances are you have a multi-racial workplace. Bosses often use race
to keep workers divided; these racial divisions can keep workers from
building power on the job. Come learn about different ways to fight
racism at work.

REGISTRATION is $25, with discounts for groups and low income
workers. Space is limited, so sign up today by calling 718-284-4144
or emailing william@labornotes.org. For more information, call Labor
Notes co-editor William Johnson at 718-284-4144 or email



Labor Notes

104 Montgomery St.

Brooklyn, NY 11225

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"No Justice and No Peace:

A Critique of Current Social Change Politics"
Selina Musuta and Darby Hickey, Journal of Aesthetics & Protest #4 ue4.php

As two people actively involved in movements for social justice, we are constantly discussing and critiquing what we see happening in the name of “changing the world”. Having resided in DC for several years, though not originally “from” the city, we have a particular perspective on the current culture of the mass mobilization for social change. Additionally, as two individuals living at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, citizenship, and more we struggle to understand what paths can be charted to a future that will liberate every part of us.

Sean Nortz writes:

New York University Graduate Students Strike

NYU Grad Students, through GSOC/Local 2110 UAW, have authorized a strike this morning which will result in a complete stoppage of work by graduate students in response to the administration's refusal to renew their contract, which expired on August 31, 2005 (the National Labor Relations Board, composed largely of apointees from a reactionary Bush administration, determined, contrary to a 2000 ruling, that universities do not have to negotiate with graduate student unions). A contract "offered" to the union by the administration in August was "little more than a public relations stunt" which acquiesced to none of the principal demands in an acceptable fashion.

Radicalism in Labor: Radical Approaches to the Crisis
in the Labor Movement

CUNY Graduate Center , 365 Fifth Avenue (34th St. +
5th Ave.)

Saturday, October 29 10:00AM-4:00PM

Elebash Recital Hall

Register on-site: 9:00-10:00AM

Students: $5 – Public: $10 (cash or check preferred)

Reservations are encouraged for guaranteed seating
Please RSVP to: patrickinglis@gmail.com



Barbara Bowen (Professional Staff Congress-CUNY), Bill
Henning (Communications Workers of America Local
1180), Kathleen Hull (Adjunct Association and
Professor of Humanities, NYU), Mike Phelan (Committee
of Interns and Residents)



Willie Baptist (University of the Poor), Kevin
Fitzpatrick (New York Taxi Workers Alliance ), Saru
Jayaraman (Restaurant Opportunities Center of New
York), Diana Polson (CUNY Graduate Center),
Representative (Kensington Welfare Rights Union)


Stanley Aronowitz (CUNY Graduate Center), Marty
Fishgold (Former President, International Labor
Communications Association), Gerry Hudson (SEIU),
Andrew Ross (American Studies, NYU), Penny Lewis
(Borough of Manhattan Community College), Kim Moody
(Labor Notes)

The Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and

* Phone: 212-817-2001 *

Information: saronowitz@igc.org

Shining India’s swanky new sweatshops

Hindustan Times

Dinesh C. Sharma

Call centres housed in swanky glass towers may represent the new face of 21st-century India, but the labour practices they follow belong to the 19th century.

Though business process outsourcing (BPO) companies are projected as promoters of innovation, flexibility and freedom at workplace, they are actually quite inflexible, eroding even basic rights at work. This is the finding of the first major study of labour practices in Indian call centres.

The BPO industry in India currently employs 350,000 workers, according to the trade body Nasscom.

Superior work environment, the use of latest technologies, higher salaries compared to the manufacturing sector, fancy designations, smart and young peer workers — all these make young employees believe that the job they are doing is of an executive or a professional in a multinational-like environment.

¡Viva San Precario!

In transit-Entránsito through MayDaySur

Colectivo Entránsito

1> Yes, we can! Determination and construction of a post-identitary common sense

It is no comfortable to inhabit a territory where the big truths are falling down to pieces, where impotency, conformism and fear are
tonalities that accompany contemporary life. In that very territory, we decided to grab strongly the proposal of MayDaySur without really knowing clearly how it would work. It was in fact a political experiment that arouse lots of doubts and some bad auguries. In the process of gestation of this creature we shared many moments of vertigo and indecision. However, some odd trust had installed among us. "Odd" because it didn´t provide us with a clearly defined plan, it was more a kind of instinctive gesture. and a "trust" due to the organizative capability of our
movements, to the intelligence, desire, creativity and strength that we are able to deploy when connecting and working together. We also did trust the "multitude", that experiences directly the "precarization" and still carries, in its ambivalence, the power of rebelliousness and disobedience. We think that the building process of this MayDaySur has proved us that the collective, excited about creating a new "common" and generous work, going beyond rigid identities is able to produce very powerful
connections. We celebrate the intuition and determination in the
beginnings of this process, as well as the generosity and enormous disposition to collective working demonstrated by the movements in Seville in particular, and by all those who composed this true event.

2> New political animals: flexgeneration

-"Not a single worker in here. We should have gone with the Unions. This is a 'botellón' (spanish term for young meetings to drink alcohol in the streets)!"- shouted indignant a union mate.

-"Behave yourself, fuck! This is no demonstration, this is a 'puterío' (disrespective Spanish term for sex work)!"- cried an overflowed policeman.

The composition and the way of being-in in a demonstration left many perplexed. All those fierce-looking people, that music, those
watchwords and, to make matters worse, demonstrating the 1st of May!, the traditional working day. These two personages share, everyone in his way, a feeling of strangeness towards the new and singular expression forms of the precariat. It gets difficult, both for the Order forces and for a certain leftist sector, to understand the codes and modalities of action of those bodies. What are we celebrating? The joy of taking back the streets and giving a contundent visibility to that precarity as conjugated in 1rst person. We demonstrate that we are blazing a trail to get things upside down. We feel that we are thousands who share similar situations and that together we can overcome them. For us the political practice, even at the hardest working time, is a joyful passion. In the words of Gilles Deleuze : "don´t you think that you ought to be sad to be militant, even if what you fight against is abominable. What does possess a
revolutionary force is the bond of desire with reality (and not its getaway under form of representation)". We talk about a new generation of workers and that means that those living today from their work cannot be reduced to an unique identity.

Today the soundsystem, the beats, the dj´s and the "speakers" are to the new generations what country orchestras, the bass drums, the noisy tracks and the megaphone were for the former ones. It would be a bit absurd to maintain that expressive forms, communicative codes, the "ways of feeling" and even the "class aesthetics" would remain the same throughout the history.


Subscribe to Work