There is a common notion in the United States and other powerful Western nation that the process of deindustrialization is complete and total. According to many, this process has left the workplaces of American merely small hubs of service work, totally unorganizable and not worth our time. However, along many industrial lines there remain a number of mass workplaces, especially along the supply chain. These circuits of capital flow every day and night and create huge logistical challenges – the permeation of warehouses has been one way for companies to cope with the difficulties of logistics. With the creation of these hubs, capital creates a dangerous situation for itself, because if these chokepoints are organized they can severely cripple the flow of goods. The recognition of this fact has spurred many revolutionaries to organize in these sectors. In this essay, IWW organizer Coeur de Bord analyses the first year of organizing at a United Parcel Service hub in Minneapolis outside of the preexisting trade union structure. They show how even a small core of organizers can engage large numbers of workers and mobilize them around concrete demands.
The Building Trades Wildcat in Alberta
Alberta labour laws are not only some of the most repressive in Canada, they may be some of the most repressive in North America. For decades the labour movement tried to change the laws in Alberta, demanding the right for all workers to strike between contracts, to collectively bargain, and anti-scab legislation. Their main weapon was lobbying a government that was hostile to their very existence, and making alliances with marginalized left-wing politicians who were shut out of the corridors of power. For a long time more and more workers were robbed of the right to strike either directly, like farm workers, university teaching assistants, and nurses, or indirectly by tying them up in so much red tape that a strike was almost impossible.