23rd February 2011 Working for an Occupation

On Wednes­day 5 Jan­u­ary 2011 the Uni­ver­sity of Kent’s Occu­pa­tion came to an end after 4 weeks. The Sen­ate build­ing, nor­mally used for admin­is­tra­tive meet­ings, saw a very dif­fer­ent kind of decision-making as the group of stu­dents who occu­pied the build­ing worked on a fully con­sen­sual prin­ci­ple to cre­ate a base for polit­i­cal action across…

13th February 2011 Motor City on Strike

The Detroit Sym­phony Orches­tra (DSO) has been on strike for 19 weeks now. This is not Detroit’s first expe­ri­ence of con­flict between cap­i­tal and labour: after all, this is the city where Henry Ford learned how to con­trol dis­sat­is­fac­tion and labour turnover, where Ford — like GM and Chrysler — have spent years man­ag­ing layoffs…

7th February 2011 Work at Height

Up the lad­der, to unscrew the old satel­lite dish. Down the lad­der, it’s tucked under his arm. Back up the lad­der. You’ve got to be care­ful get­ting onto the roof, with that thing under your arm. The rest’ve already fin­ished work, they carry on drinking.

2nd February 2011 Should I Work for Free?

I’ve seen two bril­liant things this week about unpaid work. The first is a blis­ter­ing cri­tique of the ‘Big Soci­ety’ by Philip Pull­man. A lot has been writ­ten on this over the past few months but lit­tle makes so elo­quent and so direct a hit on the found­ing premises of the Tories flag­ship pol­icy. Pullman…