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Showing posts from April, 2018

Thoughts On this 3903 Strike

We're around 60 days into this strike, my third strike in this local, and all of the assessments and experiences of the past strikes are as acute as ever. The particular details change with each strike but the general facts remain the same. The particular details: in 2008/2009, at the beginning of the crisis, the Bargaining Team was close to the employer whereas the Executive tried to push a radical agenda; in 2015 the Executive was reactionary and the general membership went on strike against the conciliatory will of its leadership; now, in 2018, the Executive and Bargaining Team are united in their will to struggle against concessions and only the usual reactionary suspects, members who do not walk the lines and have backwards politics, are attempting to undermine the strike. The general facts: the strike is still limited by economism, the lack of an external revolutionary movement that possesses hegemony have means that trade-union consciousness will remain the norm even in the…

Socialist Fightback: "Everyone is sectarian except for us!"

My union local's current strike has, as usual, taken up a lot of my time. Since most of what I would say about a strike I have written before (the limits of trade union consciousness, the trap of economism, the potential to build a red centre to push for a politics that is beyond union militancy, etc.), I wasn't planning to write very much about this round of striking. But the occupation of the York University senate chambers led by the Students for CUPE 3903 coalition, of which the Revolutionary Student Movement (MER-RSM) is an important part, is a development that is unique to this strike and, in the democratic general assemblies and demands that have grown beyond my union local's strike, demonstrates the ways in which union militancy can be used as an opening for more radical demands. Moreover, the way in which the occupation was initiated and the line struggles that defined its development provides some interesting lessons of mass work within united fronts.

The stronge…