B1 Strike – forms, understandings, limits

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Coordinamento Migranti Bologna (Italy), Global Project (Italy), Interventionistische Linke – IL Berlin (Germany), Strike Activists from Cologne (Germany)

General strikes and wildcat strikes, metropolitan and social strikes, care and education strikes, migrant and refugee strikes… We just see various experiences and approaches to strikes as a mean of resistance and social change. What are the respective perceptions and expectations? What are the respective links and potential interconnections? What are the limits (concerning symbolism or fragmentation) and challenges (concerning the global chain of exploitation)? How to distinguish from a method of civil disobedience?

And how to estimate the role of the unions? While there has been hopes of a radicalization of the labor movement most trade unions in Europe have searched for new social pacts with the government and capital on a national level. Despite an upsurge in symbolic general strikes the decline of conflicts at the point of production proceeded during the crisis. This is not only due to a weakened potential of disruptive power by globalization but as well to a still cooperative behavior of trade unions vis-a-vis capital. What does this mean for any perspective of a new labor internationalism?

We want to touch these questions and evaluate critically some experiences of recent years to discuss the transnational perspectives.