The purpose of this blog is to provide analytical commentary on formal and informal labour organisations and their attempts to resist ever more brutal forms of exploitation in today’s neo-liberal, global capitalism.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

The People against Capital: Stop-TTIP!

The conflict over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a struggle between different blocs, argued John Hilary, Executive Director of the NGO War on Want and Honorary Professor at Nottingham University, in a presentation at the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) on Monday, 24 November. This not, however, between Europe and the USA or Europe together with the USA against Asia, but between capital on the one hand, and labour, the environment and the people on the other. In this blog post, I will discuss key points of John Hilary’s presentation covering the contents of TTIP, its dangers as well as the mounting resistance against it.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Forget a ‘fair wage for a fair day’s work’?

Struggles between trade unions and employers are first and foremost about wages. What constitutes a ‘fair wage for a fair day’s work’? Indeed, one of trade unions’ biggest success has been to obtain higher wage levels by organising workers into a collective social force, ready to go on strike together if needed. Calls for an increase in the official minimum wage or a living wage are equally over concerns of what constitutes proper remuneration for particular services of labour offered. In this post, I will critically examine the potential of struggles for higher wages for broader changes to inequality and injustice in society.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Struggle for Public Water in Italy

On 9 October, I gave the paper ‘Sic Vos Non Vobis’ – ‘For You, But Not Yours’: The struggle for public water in Italy at the Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney . The paper is about the Italian Water Movements Forum (Forum), a broad alliance of trade unions, social movements, development NGOs and environmental groups, and its successful mobilisation for a referendum against the privatisation of water in June 2011 (see also Road to Victory). Trade unions and other social movements find it often difficult to co-operate due to their different histories and institutional structures, as argued in an article on the European Social Forum. In this blog post, I will analyse how the Italian Water Movements Forum was able to bring together such a wide range of different groups into a successful campaign.