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Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle

Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle

Strategies, Tactics, Objectives

Edited by Robert Ovetz

Series: Wildcat

A major new study looking at the catalysing role of workers' inquiries in the rebirth of a global labour movement from below

Rumours of the death of the global labour movement have been greatly exaggerated. Rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the old trade union movement, workers' struggle is being reborn from below by workers themselves.

By engaging in what Karl Marx called a workers' inquiry, workers and militant co-researchers are studying their working conditions, the technical composition of capital, and how to recompose their own power in order to devise new tactics, strategies, organisational forms and objectives. These workers' inquiries, from call centre workers to platform, trucking, cleaning, logistics, mining, auto factories, teachers, and adjunct professors, are re-energising unions, bypassing unions altogether or innovating new forms of workers' organisations.

In one of the first major studies to critically assess this new cycle of global working class struggle, Robert Ovetz collects together case studies from over a dozen contributors, looking at workers' movements in China, Mexico, the US, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Italy, India and the UK. The book reveals how these new forms of struggle are no longer limited to single sectors of the economy or contained by state borders, but are circulating internationally and disrupting the global capitalist system as they do.

Robert Ovetz is a Lecturer in Political Science at San Jose State University (US). He is the author of When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 (Brill, 2018 and Haymarket, 2019) and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Labor and Society.

'Incisively examines the most recent and compelling examples of workers' autonomous resistance to the modern precarious workplace. Ovetz's invaluable collection applies workers' inquiry to contemporary practice. Essential reading for students of contemporary labor activism' - Immanuel Ness, author of 'Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class'

List of Figures
Introduction - Robert Ovetz
Part I: Transport and Logistics
1. Camioneros, the Argentine Truckers' Union that Can Paralyze the Country - Dario Bursztyn
2. When Local Class Unionism Meets International Solidarity: A Case of Union Revitalization in Turkey - Alpkan Birelma
3. Resisting Sexism and Racism in Italian Logistics Worker Organizing - Anna Curcio
Part II: Education, Call Centers, Cleaners, Platform Work, and Gamers
4. Making Threats: Credible Strike Threats in the US, 2012-2016 - Robert Ovetz
5. The Self-Organization of Organization of the Mexican Multitude Against Neoliberal State Terror: The CNTE Dissident Teachers Movement Against the 2013 Education Reform - Patrick Cuninghame
6. A Brief Survey of Class Composition in the UK - Notes from Below
Part III: Manufacturing and Mining
7. Worker Organizing in China: Challenges and Opportunities - Jenny Chan
8. Self-organising is Breathing Life into Workers' Struggles in South Africa - Shawn Hattingh and Dr. Dale T. McKinley
9. Study of Indian Precarious Auto Workers - Lorenza Monaco
About the Authors
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2020
Paperback ISBN: 9780745340869
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745340845
eBook ISBN: 9781786806451

288 pages

135mm x 215mm

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