The Class Strikes Back

Self-Organised Workers’ Struggles in the Twenty-First Century


Volume Editors: and
The Class Strikes Back examines a number of radical, twenty-first-century workers’ struggles. These struggles are characterised by a different kind of unionism and solidarity, arising out of new kinds of labour conditions and responsive to new kinds of social and economic marginalisation. The essays in the collection demonstrate the dramatic growth of syndicalist and autonomist formations and argue for their historical necessity. They show how workers seek to form and join democratic and independent unions that are fundamentally opposed to bureaucratic leadership, compromise, and concessions.

Specific case studies dealing with both the Global South and Global North assess the context of local histories and the spatially and temporally located balance of power, while embedding the struggle in a broader picture of resistance and the fight for emancipation.

Contributors are: Anne Alexander, Dario Azzellini, Mostafa Bassiouny, Antonios Broumas, Anna Curcio, Demet S. Dinler, Kostas Haritakis, Felix Hauf, Elias Ioakimoglou, Mithilesh Kumar, Kari Lydersen, Chiara Milan, Carlos Olaya, Hansi Oostinga, Ranabir Samaddar, Luke Sinwell, Elmar Wigand.

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Dario Azzellini, Ph.D. (1967), Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany and Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP), Mexico, is visiting scholar at Murphy Institute/CUNY. He has published monographs, edited books and articles on social movements, social transformation, labour and migration studies, and Latin American Studies.

Michael G. Kraft, Ph.D. (2004), Vienna University of Economics, is a lecturer on social movements and economic and social transformations. He has published on heterodox economics and neoliberalism, social struggles and workers’ self-management in Ex-Yugoslavia.
Note on Contributors

1 Introduction: A Return to the Shop Floor or How to Confront Neoliberal Capitalism
Dario Azzellini and Michael G. Kraft

Workers’ Self-Organisation beyond and against Corporative Unions and the State

2 Workers’ Struggles and Autonomy: Strategic and Tactical Considerations
Mithilesh Kumar and Ranabir Samaddar

3 Autonomous Worker Committees in Marikana, South Africa: Journey to the Mountain
Luke Sinwell

4 Greece: Grassroots Labour Struggles in a Crisis-Ridden Country
Antonios Broumas, Elias Ioakimoglou and Kostas Haritakis

5 Fighting Against Capitalist Ownership and State Bureaucracy – Labour Struggles in Venezuela
Dario Azzellini

Non-Corporate Unionism and Social Movements

6 Revolts on Goose Island: A Long Fight Pays Off for Chicago Window Factory Workers
Kari Lydersen
7 The Egyptian Workers’ Movement: Revolt, Revolution and Counter-Revolution
Anne Alexander and Mostafa Bassiouny

8 Bosnia and Herzegovina: From Workers’ Strike to Social Uprising
Chiara Milan

9 Sinaltrainal: Transforming the Workers’ Movement in Colombia
Carlos Olaya

10 A Fistful of Dollars? The Labour Dispute in the Babylon Cinema
Hansi Oostinga

Renewed Forms of Struggle and Workers’ Self-Management

11 New Workers’ Struggles in Turkey since the 2000s: Possibilities and Limits
Demet Ş. Dinler

12 Recovered Imaginaries: Workers’ Self-Organisation and Radical Unionism in Indonesia
Felix Hauf

13 The Revolution in Logistics
Anna Curcio

14 Sweat and Detergent not Bread and Roses: Behind the Shiny Surface of London’s Financial Industry, Latin Cleaners Struggle for Dignity
Elmar Wigand

Students and scholars of labour relations, social movements, political economy as well as workers and activists for whom it provides a practical manual of workers’ self-organisation and struggle in the twenty-first century.
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