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(en) wsm.ie: Work and Workplace Organising: a Workers Solidarity Movement position paper

Date Sat, 5 Aug 2017 07:55:27 +0300

Note to readers: ---- This paper sits under the Anarchism, Oppression & Exploitation and Class and Exploitation papers in the WSM position papers. It doesn't repeat the material to be found in those papers. ---- Passed by National Conference, July 2017. ---- Work and the Workplace ---- The workplace remains the location where many of us are likely to spend much of our adult lives. We are dependent on the wage we earn for food, housing and all our basic and complex needs. ---- The workplace is anywhere where we do work. For many people this means turning up to work shifts for a business, i.e the capitalist workplace ---- However, for many people the home is their workplace, and for others it is one of their main workplaces. This domestic work, such as cooking, cleaning, and care work such as tending to infirm relatives and child rearing, is mostly done by women and goes unpaid and unrecognised as ‘real work' in capitalist patriarchal society. However, it is fundamental to sustaining ourselves and reproducing human society and it deserves to be paid. Workplace struggle should include the demand for a wage for domestic work at present and ultimately achieve a free and fair division of all socially necessary labour.

We recognise that the strike is not limited to the capitalist workplace but also involves the ‘social strike' for example in the sphere of reproductive labour (such as domestic work) and continued functioning of the city.

Many of us experience work as a place where we have very limited control over what we do and when we do it, never mind what is produced. As individual workers we often have little or no choice other than obeying the legal and, for the more marginalised of us, even illegal instructions of our boss.

Workplace Struggle - Unions

Yet workers are not powerless. Without our work nothing is produced. Some of us have some power because our skills are rare but most of us are replaceable and therefore our only power is that obtained through collective struggle.

Over time the organisation of collective struggle resulted in the formation of

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