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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #280 - Revolutionary trade unionists: leaving the field (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Sat, 10 Mar 2018 08:39:34 +0200
Advanced union deserts, the problem of generational renewal, lack of ideal in many
activists ... Wrestling unionism is in bad shape, and the yellow unionism benefits to gain
ground by dint of clientelism and collaboration with the employers. We are not going to
remedy this in a snap of fingers, but by a long-term work, at the base, which will pay in
local struggles. And doubly paying in case of global recovery of the class struggle. In
parallel, it is necessary to make live the project of a libertarian communist alternative
to the current society. ---- The priority is to breathe life into local union unions,
beyond the legal services and support for small business delegates. It is a question of
coordinating trade union activity in a pool of employment, but also of taking over what
was the strength of the first labor exchanges: the activities of trade union training,
popular education and support for the struggles on the labor market. whole social field
(housing, consumption ...).
On these subjects and many others, associations exist and play a significant role, some of
which define themselves as " citizens " and / or " popular education ". The
revolutionary syndicalism of the XXI th century must find the form and means of inserting
them into the class dimension it carries. This, without questioning their
self-organization, their autonomy of decision and action ... The balance is not obvious
but it is essential.
The achievements of revolutionary syndicalism are useful in responding to the new
challenges posed by successively imposed regressions. Trade union democracy, direct
democracy, rotation of mandates, unitary approach, direct action refusing any method to
lead to the blockage of the production and circulation of goods: pickets, sabotage, strike
of zeal ...
Paradoxically, the disintegration of the trade union fabric clears horizons for a return
to the sources and opens exciting perspectives of reconstruction, partially liberated from
the crushing weight of the old traditional political apparatuses.
What will change everyday
The law now imposes parity between men and women in the composition of lists for
professional elections. It is harmful that it is the law that defines in part how union
members must choose their representatives ... but it is an opportunity for women to
establish themselves in a union world still very masculine.
The inversion of the hierarchy of standards will place a heavy burden on union delegates,
since it is to them that the employers will propose to sign derogatory agreements ;
likewise for the elected members of the social and economic committees (ESC), where these
will be created. Trade union structures will have to be very vigilant to help DSs and
elected officials resist blackmail that bosses will not fail to exercise, including
manipulating part of the employees.
For the eight accused of Goodyers, October 20, 2016.
The task of revolutionaries today revolves around a few priority issues:
1. Offensive working practices
In 2017, the police pressure on the demonstrations was less violent than in 2016. But the
repression against union actions that go beyond the framework remains strong. The
organization of solidarity with the victims is one thing, but there is a stake in
maintaining offensive working practices where the trade union leadership is tempted by
2. Use existing tools
Defending existing union tools, as means of resistance of the working class, is necessary
from a practical point of view, to limit the social breakage, even to win over claims. It
is also so in the context of the social war that is waged: the working class must keep its
self-organizing capacities. This does not excuse a criticism of the functioning of these
tools. While the creation of the CSE that makes DP, CE and CHSCT disappear is a defeat of
our camp but, objectively, how many activists spend an incredible time in meetings without
interest, in the sense that they do not allow to build the least collective action ?
3. Restore confidence in collective action
It is necessary to build basic trade union collectives wherever possible. This refers to
the debates on interprofessional union work (to allow these implementations in many cases)
; self-management and democratic practices in everyday life (to contribute to their
appropriation by the mass of workers) ; the assumption of immediate demands and the
battles to be fought to satisfy them (to restore confidence in collective action) ; the
priorities to be given to trade union training and information, the contents and forms of
which must be constantly redesigned to meet the needs (to encourage the renewal and
strengthening of activists, building on the strengths already available).
4. Dare to talk to the union members
We must succeed in stimulating in the militant collectives debates associating the maximum
number of union members on the future of the common class tool of trade unionism: unity,
unification, taking into account and autonomy of the social movements, affirmation of the
political role of trade unionism, etc. In the same way, we must highlight and debate the
alternatives that can be built in the face of the capitalist organization of work. All
this, taking care to start from concrete situations, so as not to make discussions between
5. not be satisfied with the minority action
We must remain available to any initiative, without considering that everything is
positive. Organizing minority actions is obviously not forbidden ; but it can become
counterproductive when the militant inter-self becomes the alpha and the omega and / or a
mythical radicalism replaces the construction of true power relations favorable to our
social class, capable of leading to radical transformation of society, a revolution.
Likewise, the goal of the general renewable (inter) national strike remains and we are
working on it ; but to make it the only valid action is clearly counter-productive if it
is to lead to failure and discouragement.
6. An organization for libertarian communism
Clearly show the need to build a revolutionary organization among the workers, with
political compass the overthrow of capitalist society by the general strike, and the
self-management of production. Far from wanting to save trade unionism at all costs, it is
a question of working, in the current historical phase, to maintain the collective
organizing capacities of the workers, in a revolutionary perspective affirmed through the
concrete priorities that we we give.
Federal Coordination of LA, January 2018 (excerpt)
Spotlight: trade unionism, what to do ?
Labor Law 1 and 2: Why the failure of the social movement ?
Trade unions: To fight to remain " the unavoidable interlocutor " ?
Revolutionary unionists: leaving the field
Convergences: regrouping to move forward, not just to warm up
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