A workers' plan for the crisis

A Workers' Plan for the Crisis

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:10

This Alliance for Workers’ Liberty pamphlet seeks to explain the ongoing capitalist crisis from an independent working-class — socialist — viewpoint. It puts forward an action plan for the working class to defend itself against the bosses’ attempts to make us pay for their crisis, and to go on the offensive to replace capitalism with working-class power and socialism. Click here to download pdf or buy online.





Against Viking, Laval, Ruffert, Luxemburg: cross-Europe workers' unity!

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:28

Today workers can move freely and easily across most of the European Union. That freedom is a good thing, and makes it easier to build the working-class unity across borders which was an urgent necessity even from a trade-union point of view as long ago as the beginning of the First International, in the 1860s.
But capital is agile. Capital will seek to turn our freedoms against us. In four judgements in 2007-8 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made it easier for bosses to undermine union agreements in one country by “shipping in” or “posting” entire temporary workforces from other countries

Chapter 5: What does workers' government mean?

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:26

A government of struggle

For the working class to fight effectively implies united struggle by different working-class organisations — unions, trades councils, campaigns, the various socialist organisations. Obviously such ‘united fronts’ can take various forms, depending on the nature, scope and intensity of the struggle; but the general principle is as true for large-scale class battles as for the small defensive ones we are mostly limited to at present.
As we have already noted, many of the demands necessary to defend and extend the rights and living standards of the working class in this

How to organise the unorganised

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:25

How to organise the unorganised
To revive itself, the British labour movement needs to organise the millions of currently unorganised workers. Such work has been done many times before, and can be done again.
At the end of 2008, the trade unions in Britain had 7.3 million members, just over 30 percent of the workforce. In 1978, the figure was 13 million, over 55 percent; it dropped at the start of the 1980s as recession and Thatcher’s anti-union laws kicked in, and plummeted after the defeat of the miners, printers, dockers and other groups of workers.
The percentage of workers covered by

Chapter 4: How to fight - renew the labour movement

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:23

The balance sheet

“It is difficult for union officials to stand up in front of members and recommend that they should lose pay. It is much easier just to say 'No, no, no' to employers. But it must be an adult dialogue... We must consider all the available tools in the box to keep companies viable and save jobs.”
GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny in the Financial Times, 15 December 2008

As already explained, the demands set out in this pamphlet are not an architect’s drawing for an ideal society; they are an action plan for workers to get organised and fight. But as things stand our labour

Chapter 3: What to fight for - our demands

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:21

A programme for the British working class

As suggested by the references made so far, this is an action programme for the British working class; its demands refer mainly, though not entirely, to the class struggle in Britain. As a socialist tendency based mainly in Britain, we have no desire to pretend that we can declare a detailed programme of struggle for the working class in other countries. At the same time, the class struggle is not fundamentally national but international. While specific demands will vary from country to country, we think that the approach we take here is applicable

Chapter 2: The nature of this programme

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:19

“Transitional demands”: how the fight for reforms can transform the labour movement

At the moment, workers are confronted by the most basic defensive struggles: how to defend ourselves against real-terms wage cuts and an avalanche of job losses, for instance. Isn’t it unreal to talk about a workers’ government, let alone socialism, when we are engaged in these defensive battles?
In fact, there is a necessary link between these sorts of struggles and the fight for working-class power. Only by fighting for reforms can the working class transform itself and its movement into a force capable of

Chapter 1. Understanding the Crisis

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2009 - 14:18

A crisis of capitalism

“Business always appears almost excessively sound right on the eve of a crash,” wrote Karl Marx in the 1860s. “Business is always thoroughly sound and the campaign in full swing, until suddenly the debacle takes place.”
The economic crisis currently raging across the globe is a crisis of capitalism — an economic and social system which by its very nature generates crises. Capitalism has a self-expanding drive to produce more and more for ever greater profits, regardless of the consequences, be they human, ecological — or economic. Eventually it will always overshoot

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