One of our biggest concerns at Redline is that, while workers’ rights, living standards and general conditions of life have been made worse over the past 30 years, workers’ resistance has declined to negligible levels. Moreover, the rare tussle that does take place is a defensive one. Workers in this country, with the possible exception of the early days of Unite union when it was organising new workplaces and fighting to get contracts for new union members, haven’t been going on the offensive for several decades now.
Sometimes it seems that two generations of workers got defeated – through the 1980s and 1990s – and the next generation therefore hasn’t had a fighting spirit and class consciousness passed on to it nor developed these through its own experiences.
But if workers here have forgotten or, in the case of the new generation, not yet learned what resistance is let alone what going on the offensive is, there is no shortage of examples of powerful workers’ upsurges and of workers’ resistance pointing to, or at least offering a glimpse of the potential for, alternative ways of organising economic, social and political life.
The really big stuff: dress rehearsals for workers’ emancipation
France, May-June 1968: the glimmer of revolution
Forms of popular power in Chile, 1970-1973
The grandeur of workers’ revolution: Portugal, 1974
History’s biggest general strike (2013)
History’s biggest strike: Indian workers show us how
Recent Workplace Occupations (and one from 1989)
Workers occupy Paris Bakery, Moore St, Dublin
When workers occupied – the Cockatoo Island occupation of 1989
Factory takeover in Argentina sees discussions on workers power, women’s liberation
Greek lessons: workers occupy factory, continue production
Video on the Vio.me struggle
Greek factory: “the machines of self-management have been turned on”
Workers’ self-management only solution: interview with spokesperson for the Vio.me occupation
Resisting austerity and taking on the state in Ireland
Working class resists water tax in south of Ireland
Working class community organising against Class A drug pushers
Standing up for ourselves: a brief history of the IWCA’s campaign against Class A drug dealers in Blackbird Leys
Whatever happened to workers’ resistance?