We’re pleased to repost this from our comrades at Common Cause.
Between October 22 and October 25, Common Cause organized a speaking tour entitled “Class War On The Workfloor” in four Ontario cities (Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener & London). The speaker was postal worker, anarchist and rank-and-file trouble maker, Rachael Stafford, from Edmonton.
Below is the audio recording from the Hamilton stop of the tour, held on October 22, 2011. The talk outlines a perspective on workplace organizing not dependent on union executives, but rather on empowering workers to fight their own battles. In the audio recording Stafford explains why it’s important to deal with issues as they arise on the floor through direct action, worker education, and participatory decision making in order to build the kind of struggle that can aim for the whole pie — not just a bigger piece. The talk also offers first-hand context to the recent CUPW struggle, which saw postal workers go from being on strike to being locked out and quickly legislated back to work. This bitter experience was a clear example of the bosses’ ongoing campaign to claw back the very rights workers fought for (and won) decades ago. Because postal workers are not alone in facing cutbacks, exploitation, greedy bosses, and the like, they have a lot in common with other workers — and we all stand to learn a lot from one another’s struggles.
A postal worker, anarchist, and rank and file trouble maker, Rachel Stafford has been organizing to build worker power within and outside of the post office. Applying skills and perspectives developed as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), she has organized for direct action at her job and supported others as a trainer in the IWW’s Organizer Training program. Rachel writes about and reflects on her experiences as a member of the editorial collective of the Recomposition blog.
Interested people should also check out Rachel’s article “Postal Worker Solidarity Defeats Compulsory Overtime” and other articles about Canadian postal worker struggles here at Recomposition.