Republic Windows and Doors

December 14, 2008 at 4:26 am (Uncategorized)

It’s a small thing in some ways. In other ways, it’s a marvellous thing. Workers being screwed over occupy a plant for six days. At the end, even though they still lose their jobs, they win some basic rights and get what thet are owed by the company. But to do so , they broke the law and acted collectively. A small victory.

A  friend  wrote

The occupation of the plant at Republic Windows and Doors, by the workers themselves, implicitly constitutes the kind of struggle, self-organization, to which I referred in my earlier post. It challenges the legal framework of capitalism, and its network of juridical institutions; the workers did not go to court, sue the employers for their back pay, etc., seek an injunction, or even go the the state legislature or city government seeking relief. They seized the plant. I would hope that delegates of the workers will seek to spread the struggle to other plants, to working class neighborhoods. I would hope that they do not delegate their struggle to the union, to lawyers, to community organizers, to friendly politicians and the media. There is a real spark there, and it has the prospect of igniting other fires, provided the workers stay in control of their own struggle. The consciousness that led to the occupation has the prospect of growing during it; leading to a questioning of the value form, of wage labor, of the sacrifice of living labor to dead labor, etc. It is precisely in the struggle that that kind of questioning has historically arisen. Capital will seek to respond by trying to move the struggle back onto its own terrain, the terrain of unions, courts, legislative bodies, etc. This battle is only a beginning. 

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