Newsletter - 7 May
As the Interventions team are all volunteers, we are well used to working from home. And we have been busy this year.
Our latest book is:
Stuff the Accord! Pay Up! Workers’ resistance to the ALP-ACTU Accord
By Liz Ross
The Accord (1983-1986) was a landmark program of restructuring Australian capitalism, a social contract between the ACTU and the ALP. Metal workers union leader Laurie Carmichael proclaimed that it was ‘the pathway to socialism’. It was far from that. It pitched worker against worker, destroyed two unions, oversaw one of the greatest transfers of wealth from workers to employers and gutted union membership and the gains of previous decades.
Although often portrayed as being welcomed by workers, many angrily resisted the many attacks on them. This story of resistance, from the left and workers’ point of view, has not been told in full before. Ross’ book analyses the role of the trade bureaucracy, links the many struggles that occurred, and demonstrates the real impact of the Accord on the Australian working class. It is a must for all who want to both learn from history and rebuild a fighting union movement. With there now being talk in government and trade union circles of some sort of accord, this book is very timely.
Newsletter - 1 April
When the going gets tough Interventions gets going. Or something like that. Our latest book is out and you can now buy it – order on-line and it will be posted to you.
Without Bosses by Sam Oldham.
Use the time while stuck at home to be inspired by radical actions from the past. Order a copy today!
‘The book demonstrates that labour militancy and the practice of worker control is not an antediluvian form drawn from the early 20th century, but a compelling force in more recent times with a powerful legacy in the present… activists in the present should take heart in the fact that the urge for workers’ power is never far from the surface.’ - Immanuel Ness
Without Bosses gives a fascinating insight into radical currents that developed in Australian trade unionism during the 1970s. In those years of radicalism and social movements, rank-and-file trade unionists pushed the boundaries of action, in some cases setting global precedents. Trail-blazing actions include the mass strike action against the penal powers in 1969, and the famous green bans of the Builders Labourers’ Federation in the following years. The book also details less well known but fascinating experiments with self-management and workers’ control. At factories, coal mines, and building sites across the country, workers ‘sacked’ their managers and supervisors, took over their workplaces and ran them without bosses. These diverse strains of worker activism were a radical departure from the traditionally recognised activities of trade unions. Without Bosses overflows with incredible and inspiring stories from a critically important period in Australian history. For anyone interested in labour history, left-wing ideas, and the power of unions, it is required reading.