ASR 88 (winter 2024)


EDITORIAL: For an Unconditional Ceasefire
WOBBLES: Organizing Tesla, Rejecting War, Strike Bans, Criminalizing Protest, Searching for Prosperity
Syndicalist News: Solidarity with Myanmar Workers, Nepalese Teachers, IWW Organizing, Spanish Syndicalists Strike… compiled by Mike Hargis
ARTICLES: Heat Waves/Strike Waves by Jeff Shantz
Canadian Labor & Green Transition Bargaining: A Green Syndicalist View by Jeff Shantz
The Summer of Strikes
Can Anarchists Support the Ukrainian People Without Supporting the Ukrainian State? by Wayne Price
Rudolf Rocker at 150 by Jerome Warren
Anarchist Work in a Capitalist State by Rudolf Rocker
The Danger of Nationalism by Rudolf Rocker
Why Join a Minority Syndicalist Union? by Rasmus Hästbacka
REVIEWS: Bullshit Work by Chad Anderson
Sewn in Coal Country by Bill Barry
Italian Anarchists in America by Martin Comack
Socialism as Apple Pie film review by Jeff Stein
Left Americana by Iain McKay
Putting Work in its Place by Jon Bekken
Letters: War in Ukraine, American Autocracy


Rudolf Rocker on Anarcho-Syndicalism

ASR 88 features a short biographical sketch of Rudolf Rocker (marking the 150th anniversary of his birth) and excerpts from his writings. Here is an excerpt from his Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice (1938):

Participation in the politics of the bourgeois states has not brought the labor movement a hairs’ breadth closer to Socialism, but, thanks to this method, Socialism has almost been completely crushed and condemned to insignificance. The ancient proverb: “Who eats of the pope, dies of him,” has held true in this content also; who eats of the state is ruined by it. Participation in parliamentary politics has affected the Socialist labor movement like an insidious poison. It destroyed the belief in the necessity of constructive Socialist activity and, worst of all, the impulse to self-help, by inoculating people with the ruinous delusion that salvation always comes from above. Continue reading

Swedish syndicalists battle fascism, gig work and discrimination

The SAC (Central Organization of Swedish Workers) marched in Stockholm on May Day, behind a banner calling for workers’ solidarity in several languages, including Russian. SAC construction workers led the parade. In Uppsala, SAC joined with other organizations in an anti-fascist May Day demonstration. (A fascist party recently entered the government, continuing decades of attacks against Swedish workers – especially immigrants.)

The June issue of Syndikalisten also reports on SAC participation in nationwide wildcat strikes across Stockholm in April (with the attacks on Sweden’s traditional labor relations system, workers may increasingly be forced into wildcat strikes and other actions outside of the increasingly restrictive labor laws), a complaint that SAC has brought against the company Svealands Bygg after company representatives not only refused to negotiate over wages owed to two SAC members but made death threats against union representatives, discusses union efforts to address the widening pay gap between men and women workers, and publishes another in a series of excerpts from a recent history of the SAC.


US Supreme Court Attacks Right to Strike

from ASR 87

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on June 1, 2023, that a union can be sued if a strike causes the employer economic harm simply as the natural result of workers withdrawing their labor. The bosses dispatched concrete truck drivers after their union contract had expired. When negotiations broke down, Teamsters Local 174 struck. Rather than abandon the trucks in the field, they returned them to the yard so management could clean out the concrete before it set. But they left it too long, and much of the concrete was spoiled. Rather than swallow their losses, the bosses sued the union. Continue reading

Shorter Hours, Everywhere But Here?

from ASR 86

Nearly a third of U.S. workers are putting in 45 hours or more a week in their jobs, and many have been forced to take second jobs to make ends meet in the face of precarity, low wages, and the rising cost of living. About 8 million US workers put in 60 or more hours a week at work, and these are among the worst paid of all workers.

The U.S. has officially had a 40-hour workweek since 1938 (about 50 years after national strikes demanded the 8-hour day), though the Fair Labor Standards Act covers only about 15% of workers. And for a time, the 8-hour work day and 40-hour week were nearly universal. Indeed, New York City electricians and many workers at Kellogg’s won the 30-hour work week. Continue reading

Profits of Doom

Green Syndicalism and Tar Sands Worker Deaths


A central position of green syndicalism is that the destruction of nature and the destruction of workers’ lives and communities are inextricably linked and proceed together. Both are probability outcomes of exploitation and the pursuit of profit, as capital seeks to increase extractive value while keeping costs of extraction as low as it possibly can. The connection between the violence and death inflicted on nature and on workers’ bodies is given a rough measure by the fact that those jobs most directly involved in the destruction of nature are also typically the deadliest for workers (logging and mining, for example). Continue reading

Editorial: An Economy Built On Cruelty

from ASR 86

CEO compensation at the 350 largest publicly traded U.S. companies rose by an inflation-adjusted 1,460% between 1978 and 2021, according to the Economic Policy Institute, with CEOs now raking in nearly 400 times as much as the typical worker.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly spoken of his desire to get wages down to control inflation; he’s not talking about the skyrocketing pay of corporate executives or Wall Street bankers. Instead, he’s bemoaning the fact that during the pandemic many workers won modest pay hikes that helped blunt the edges of rampaging inflation. In response, the government is pursuing policies designed to drive up unemployment so that workers will have less power and be forced to accept lower wages. This, they claim, will reduce inflation because workers will have less to spend and the bosses will spend less on wages. Continue reading

ASR 87 (Summer 2023)

asr 87 coverWOBBLES: Union Revival?, Robot Scabs, Amazon workers resist…
Anarcho-Syndicalism & Climate Change by CNT-F activist
SYNDICALIST NEWS: European Alternative Unions Meet, Spanish Syndicalist Unity, Ukrainian Workers, Wobbly Monument, French Pension Fight, Russian War Resisters… compiled by Mike Hargis
ARTICLES: Repression in Canada by Jeff Shantz
Supreme Court Attacks Right to Strike
The London Congress of 1881 by Iain McKay
That Creed Called Socialism with Chinese Characteristics by Marc Young
REVIEWS: Not So Bad Mexicans by Jeff Stein
Strategies for Building Workers’ Power by Jon Bekken
Fighting Fascist Spain by Martin Comack
A Life in Struggle (Octavio Alberola) by Jon Bekken
Praxis Lacking: On The Communist Manifesto by Iain McKay
A Mr. Block Compilation by Jon Bekken
The War on the Wobblies by Jon Bekken
Workers’ Inquiry & Class Struggle by Robert Ovetz
LETTERS: American Autocracy, Ukraine…

ASR 86 (Spring 2023)

Editorial: An Economy Built On Cruelty
Wobbles: Falling Wages, Climate Catastrophe
Syndicalist News: FoodPanda, Alternative Unions, AIT Centenary compiled by Mike Hargis
Articles: Profits of Doom: Green Syndicalism and Tar Sands Worker Deaths by Jeff Shantz
Labor Resurgence in Maine by Lisa Feldman
Is the Labor Movement Blowing It? by Alexis Buss
Shorter Hours, Everywhere But Here?
Workers’ Resistance to the Russia-Ukraine War by John Kalwaic
(R)Evolution in the 21st Century: Reflections on Syndicalist Strategy by Rasmus Hästbacka
The General Strike: Past, Present & Future by Jon Bekken
Curious Saviors of the Spanish Revolution: Myths of the POUM by Jeff Stein
Reviews: Wild Socialism by Martin Comack
American Autocracy by Jeff Stein
A Passion For Work? by Jon Bekken
Redwashing Stalinism by Shelby Shapiro
Anarchist Women in Mexico by Jon Bekken
Letters: Ukraine, Rebellion in Iran