Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle

Workers' Inquiry and Global Class Struggle : Strategies, Tactics, Objectives

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Rumours of the death of the global labour movement have been greatly exaggerated. Rising from the ashes of the old trade union movement, workers' struggle is being reborn from below.

By engaging in what Karl Marx called a workers' inquiry, workers and militant co-researchers are studying their working conditions, the technical composition of capital, and how to recompose their own power in order to devise new tactics, strategies, organisational forms and objectives. These workers' inquiries, from call centre workers to teachers, and adjunct professors, are re-energising unions, bypassing unions altogether or innovating new forms of workers' organisations.

In one of the first major studies to critically assess this new cycle of global working class struggle, Robert Ovetz collects together case studies from over a dozen contributors, looking at workers' movements in China, Mexico, the US, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Italy, India and the UK. The book reveals how these new forms of struggle are no longer limited to single sectors of the economy or contained by state borders, but are circulating internationally and disrupting the global capitalist system as they do.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 20.57mm | 512.56g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 Tables, black and white; 3 Figures
  • 0745340849
  • 9780745340845

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables


Introduction - Robert Ovetz


1. Camioneros: The Argentine Truckers' Union that Can Paralyze the Country - Dario Bursztyn

2. When Class Unionism Leads to Working-Class Recomposition: The Case of TUEMTIS in Turkey - Alpkan Birelma

3. Resisting Sexism and Racism in Italian Logistics Worker Organizing - Anna Curcio


4. Making Threats: Credible Strike Threats in the US, 2012-2016 - Robert Ovetz

5. The Self-Organization of the Mexican Multitude Against Neoliberal State Terror: The CNTE Dissident Teachers' Movement Against the 2013 Education Reform - Patrick Cuninghame

6. Notes from Below: A Brief Survey of Class Composition in the UK - Callum Cant, Sai Englert, Lydia Hughes, Wendy Liu, Achille Marotta, Seth Wheeler, and Jamie Woodcock


7. Worker Organizing in China: Challenges and Opportunities - Jenny Chan

8. Self-Organizing is Breathing Life into Workers' Struggles in South Africa - Shawn Hattingh and Dr. Dale T. McKinley

9. Towards a Global Workers' Inquiry: A Study of Indian Precarious Auto Workers - Lorenza Monaco

About the Authors

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Review quote

'Incisively examines the most recent and compelling examples of workers' autonomous resistance to the modern precarious workplace. Ovetz's invaluable collection applies workers' inquiry to contemporary practice. Essential reading for students of contemporary labor activism.' -- Immanuel Ness, author of 'Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class' (Pluto, 2015)
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About Robert Ovetz

Robert Ovetz is a Lecturer in Political Science at San Jose State University (US). He is the author of When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 (Brill, 2018 and Haymarket 2019) and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Labor and Society.
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