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May Day 2017

Ottawa IWW - Sun, 04/23/2017 - 17:15

Rally and March
When: 3 pm – 7 pm, Monday, May 1
Where: Minto Park, 315 Elgin St, Ottawa. Gather at 3:00 pm. This is not a permitted march
Free Feast
When: Starting at 5:00 pm, Monday, May 1
Where: Location TBD. Family friendly.

Make Me Bad May Day
When: 8 pm – 11:30 pm, Monday, May 1
Where: Cafe Nostalgica, 601 Cumberland St, Ottawa
A musical evening, featuring: Apparatchiks, Himig Masa, Jordan Armstrong AKA New Age Hippie, Sky Sky, and Omar Saghir.

Categories: IWW

Manif-action à l’hôtel Bonaventure: On a peut-être pas eu le 15$/h, mais on a la piscine!

Montreal IWW - Sat, 04/22/2017 - 14:14
Samedi le 22 avril à 17h, des wobblies ont décidé que c'était leur tour de profiter des bonnes choses de la vie, ne serait-ce que pour un instant! Une occupation festive de la piscine chauffée située sur le toit de l'Hotel Hilton Bonaventure fut organisée par 25 membres du SITT-IWW Montréal. «Nous sommes venus profiter des bonnes choses de la vie et rappeler à la bourgeoisie que son luxe et ses largesses sont possibles grâce à notre travail.»
Categories: IWW

Mettons-nous au travail !

Montreal IWW - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 04:00
Dans ce texte, publié en version originale anglaise par The Jacobin, Érik Forman se penche sur l'envoie de militant-es radicaux sur les lieux de travail comme stratégie pour sauver le mouvement syndicale et la gauche.
Categories: IWW

Radical History Walk/Social This Sunday

Bristol IWW - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 06:03

This Sunday we’re off on a walk around the docks with our friends at Bristol Radical History Group to take advantage of the sun (hopefully) and learn about a key time in the history of Bristol unionism. All wobblies, wobbly-curious, comrades in other organisations and general history fanatics welcome. There will most likely be a pub trip afterwards for those wanting to partake. Details as follows:

A ‘night of infamy’: Black Friday, 1892
History Walk

Date: Sun 16th Apr, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Price: Free/donation
Meet: Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA
With: Roger Ball

Bristol was rocked by two major strike waves in the late 19th Century, the first (1889-90) marked the emergence of ‘new unionism’ representing male and (significantly) female unskilled and semi-skilled labourers. Victory in these strikes improved pay and conditions for workers but led to an organised counter-offensive by employers in the autumn of 1892. The response of workers was a second strike wave which united miners, dockers and female confectionary workers, culminating in ‘Black Friday’ on 23rd December 1892. This ‘night of infamy’ saw the Corporation deploy military and police units onto the streets of Bristol to break up a pre-Christmas parade by thousands of the ‘new unionists’ and their supporters.

So join us to hear what happened on ‘Black Friday’ and learn more about what connected the ‘new socialists’, feisty Dockers, French revolutionaries and striking ‘Sweet Girls’.

Meet outside the Arnolfini for a 1.5 hour walk/talk ending in the Horsefair (Broadmead).

Categories: IWW

February/March Newsletter for Bristol IWW

Bristol IWW - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 14:15

 

Dear members and supporters of Bristol IWW,

Sorry for the lack of updates on this site of late, we’ve just changed comms officer and it’s taken me a little while to get to grips with things.

Our dealings with Deliveroo reached a critical point up north last month as management in Leeds were able to infiltrate a WhatsApp group that our riders were using to organise and responded by sacking them or reducing their hours. This wasn’t to last however and after pressure from the good people of Leeds, all seven sacked riders were reinstated with scheduled hours and one of the bosses involved was sacked by Deliveroo. Direct action gets the goods! On top of these crucial victories, we’ve noticed the dodgy dealings of Deliveroo getting more coverage in the press as a result (here and here). Deliveroo know now that they can no longer get away with singling out organised riders but the battle is far from over though and those wanting to keep up to date with events as they unfold should follow IWGB Couriers Branch.

On the 4th of March a group of us were involved with the anti-fascist mobilisation against local boneheads the Pie and Mash Squad, South West Infidels and other assorted racists who gathered outside Bristol Crown Court to promote their agenda. Although a heavy police presence prevented any contact apart from the odd scuffle, we did manage to give the plod the run around and prevent the fash from attempting their originally stated plan of marching to Totterdown mosque. What started as a group of 100 or so masked antifa gradually swelled to a much larger opposition as passing Bristolians learned that nazis were up to their usual tricks in our city. To read a more in-depth report, check out the Bristol Antifascists site.

On the 25th of February we ran a workshop for migrant and refugee workers with a focus on basic work rights and how to deal with issues around contracts, discrimination and the minimum wage as part of the One Day Without Us initiative. One of our members, who is a migrant worker herself, appeared on Ujima Radio to promote the workshop and participate in a discussion about the problems many of these workers face when they come to the UK.

Some of our Bristol-based riders were part of a talk held by our friends FAU Berlin on the 7th of April in the German capital. They were asked along with the London IWGB riders to share their experiences of creating a union presence from scratch and the trials and tribulations involved.

We experienced some frustration at the end of March when our planned workshop with Sisters Uncut at the occupied Cheltenham Road library had to be postponed due to their eviction. We would like to stress that it is only postponed and we look forward to linking up with Sisters Uncut again to get this sucker on.

I’ll keep you up to date with future news, views and schemes on this site as well as via Facebook and Twitter but if there’s anything you want to see posted please get in touch. Our next meeting will be the 16th of April with any new faces advised to get in contact ahead of the date for details.

Until next time, look after each other and raise hell.

Tom / Bristol IWW

Categories: IWW

May Day on the Green 2017

IWW Scotland - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 13:16


Categories: IWW

La solidarité mène à la victoire dans un studio d’animation 3D de Montréal!

Montreal IWW - Mon, 04/10/2017 - 09:30
Avertissement, ceci ne sera pas un récit d’héroïque camaraderie, de courage ou de combat ardu, mais d’une campagne d’organisation qui s’est avérée efficace. Emploi: Je travaille en animation 3D pour un gros studio français possédant un département de 16 employé.es à Montréal. Conditions : L’atmosphère de travail était de plus en plus horrible. En comparaison…Lire la suite La solidarité mène à la victoire dans un studio d’animation 3D de Montréal!
Categories: IWW

Plane Stupid wants police spies out of our lives!

Plane Stupid - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 14:10

Crowdjustice appeal launched by social justice campaigner/ Plane Stupid member Tilly Gifford

https://www.crowdjustice.org/case/undercover-policing-scotland/

UNDERCOVER POLITICAL POLICING & SCOTLAND

The Home Office has failed to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry into Scotland and the Scottish Government has failed to order its own public inquiry into #spycops. I am taking them to Court to make sure an Inquiry is held into Undercover Political Policing in Scotland. 

On 16th July 2015 Theresa May, then Home Secretary, announced a public inquiry into undercover policing. This announcement followed revelations that police officers involved in spying on political campaigners had used the names of dead children to create their new identities. They had long term, intimate relationships with women, fathered children, and in some cases acted as agent provocateurs.

We know that these activities were also carried out in Scotland.

For example,  during the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005 the Metropolitan Police sent undercover police officers across the border.  
In addition, English undercover officers also had intimate relations with a number of women they targeted in Scotland, a repeated human rights violation made by the Metropolitan Police Service that they have publicly apologised for.
[1]
 
Extending the Pitchford Inquiry to Scotland

Despite dozens of activists having been verified as being spied upon in Scotland,[2] the public inquiry into these violations has been limited only to England and to Wales.[3] 

The Home Office failed to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry into Scotland. The Scottish Government also failed to order its own public inquiry into these issues. As a result, I am taking them to Court to make sure an Inquiry is held.

Through the Pitchford inquiry, communities in Wales and England who have suffered extreme abuses of their Right to Private Life, have the chance to have light shed on such violations carried out by the State. As it stands now, people in Scotland have no such recourse to truth or accountability.

This court case is not just to highlight one person who was spied on, but to highlight the case of hundreds of people who deserve a public inquiry into this abuse of police power in Scotland also. We seek truth and justice.
 

Targeted as an Informant

In 2009 I was targeted to be an informant. I had been campaigning and working with communities for many years on environmental issues.

There was an attempt by police officers to recruit me through threats and coercion - they detained me, intimidated me and kept the keys to my home. I was asked to spy on behalf of the police. In an on-going “business arrangement”, I was asked to betray my friends, my beliefs and the communities in Scotland we were supporting. In the course of three meetings, police officers indicated that they would give me cash payments in exchange for information. I was lucky in that I was able to record these exchanges and expose the Police and their tactics in the media.  They can be heard on The Guardian website.[4] Mixed with these promises was a threat that if I did not co-operate I might later find myself in jail.

To date we don't know who these people were - they claimed to be from Strathclyde police - although that has since been denied. How long had they been following me? Which official decided that I should be targeted? And on what basis? I, and as yet unknown number of people like me, deserve answers. We deserve the same opportunities for truth, justice and resultant safeguards that is not allowed to happen again.

Through the undercover police stories emerging over the last few years, we've seen just the tip of the state policing which has been put in motion to undermine social movements across the UK. The scope and scale is not fully understood, but we do know that over 1000 campaign groups were spied on. Undercover political policing is targeting trade unionists, socialist parties, justice campaigners, anti-racist activists, and environmentalists.

At a later date I came into contact with Mark Kennedy who was working under the control of the National Police Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). Police officers from the Metropolitan Police operated in Scotland possibly without the -permission of the Scottish authorities. It is known that Mark Kennedy, who has played a central role in the undercover policing scandal related to Scotland, also violated human rights here. [5]

I got off lightly, I wasn't targeted for a sexual relationship, nor deep friendship, nor trusted relationship. However many people in England, Wales and Scotland were, and we demand to know the truth.

Legal Action – Scotland

On 24th October 2016 the Public Interest Law Unit[6] through solicitors in Scotland launched Judicial Review proceedings against the Home Office and the Scottish government. The proceedings filed in Edinburgh seek to challenge the following:

  1. the decision of the UK Government to refuse to extend the terms of reference of the Undercover Policing Inquiry into undercover policing to cover Scotland; and separately
  2. the decision of the Scottish Ministers to refuse to set up a Scottish Inquiry under and in terms of the Inquiries Act 2005 with terms of reference equivalent to those of the Inquiry but covering Scotland.

Why no Legal Aid?

Despite this being a strong case, with good facts, supported by clear domestic and human rights law, the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) have refused my legal aid application in March 2017.

I hope to initially raise £5,000 in order to take this case forward and to get the Court to grant permission for it to proceed to a full Judicial Review. Please support this case, it is important to me, but is just as important to hundreds of others.

[1] http://news.met.police.uk/news/claimants-in-civil-cases-receive-mps-apology-138574

[2] http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/tag/scotland/

[3] https://www.ucpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Terms-of-Reference.pdf

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/uk/audio/2009/apr/24/police-surveillance-intelligence-1 ; https://www.theguardian.com/uk/audio/2009/apr/24/police-surveillance-intelligence-2 ; and https://www.theguardian.com/uk/audio/2009/apr/24/police-surveillance-intelligence-3.

[5]http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-36943320)

[6] The Public Interest Law Unit is a project that specialises in challenges to decision made by public bodies. It specialises in judicial review, human rights and public inquiries. It is currently representing core participants in the Undercover Policing Inquiry (www.ucpi.org.uk) which has a remit to look at undercover policing in England & Wales.

[7] https://www.holyrood.com/articles/news/michael-matheson-orders-review-undercover-policing-scotland

[8] http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/inquiry-into-undercover-police-actions-in-northern-ireland-moves-step-closer-35430921.html)

Les agences de placement, le cheap labour et la misère.

Montreal IWW - Thu, 04/06/2017 - 10:46
Dans le cadre de la manifestation organisée par l’Association des travailleurs et travailleuses d’agences de placement (ATTAP), un membre du IWW Montréal a pris la parole, voici ce qu’il avait à dire. Bonjour à tous et toutes, je suis membre du Syndicat Industriel des Travailleurs et Travailleuses, le IWW Montréal. Nous sommes ici aujourd’hui en solidarité…Lire la suite Les agences de placement, le cheap labour et la misère.
Categories: IWW

Vie de Wobblies: Ma vision du Syndicat

Montreal IWW - Mon, 04/03/2017 - 04:01
Présentation Avant de débuter, veuillez comprendre que mon nom et mon milieu de travail ne seront pas diffusés, et ceci, à ma demande et à des fins de sécurité d’emploi. Je me décrirai donc seulement en disant que je suis un homme dans la fin vingtaine qui travaille, sans être aux études, depuis une dizaine…Lire la suite Vie de Wobblies: Ma vision du Syndicat
Categories: IWW

Our Health Series: From struggles for safe staffing to self-managed health

Recomposition - Thu, 03/30/2017 - 11:00

Our health series is out and has taken on questions from health care reform to workers struggles for better conditions and a liberatory system of health. We interviewed a nurse active in the movement for safe staffing in the US, and a network of health workers in New Zealand about their organizing and recent strikes. During a month of struggles around gender, we published a translation of an article on health and gender by anarchist leader and medical student Melissa Sepúlveda Alvarado in Chile. In a field that has traditionally been defined by largely defensive struggle, we put forward strategy and an alternative vision that goes beyond universal public health systems within capitalism. The first came from the perspective of the United States by one our editors S Nicholas Nappalos, and the second by Pedro Heraklio is from Spain within the context of a threatened public system. This series unfortunately will be our last. The priorities and situations for our editors have shifted in the past few years and we’ve decided it’s time to move on. We are proud with what we have achieved, and grateful for the support all have given this project over the past 7 years.

Categories: Class Struggle, IWW

Why did Plane Stupid chain themselves to the runway at Stansted Airport?

Plane Stupid - Wed, 03/29/2017 - 12:57
Reposted from New Internationalist, 29/3/17 (Text by Plane Stupid)
Activists take action at Stansted airport to stop a mass deportation flight (Photo : Stop Charter Flights - End Deportations Facebook page)

Last night’s action stopped a mass deportation charter flight from flying to Nigeria and Ghana. Members of Plane Stupid explain why they took part.

Just over a year ago we were convicted for our part in the Heathrow 13 action. We occupied the Northern runway at Heathrow, cancelling 25 flights, saving hundreds of tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted and protesting against the construction of the proposed third runway. For this we nearly went to prison.

So, why this move? Why is a well known environmental group now taking action against mass deportations?

Well, as Audre Lourde says, ‘there’s no such thing as a single issue campaign, because we do not live single issue lives.’ We do not see ourselves as ‘environmentalists’, nor do we see the fight against airport expansion or the fight against climate change as isolated from any other issue. Airport expansion is a form of violence and a form of oppression, one that a minority of people will benefit from the profits, whilst countless people will suffer from loss of community and health, both locally and globally.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/lgsmigrants/videos/1888896598046832/

As Black Lives Matter clearly stated back in September, the climate crisis is a racist crisis as it is Black, Brown and Indigenous bodies feel the worst effects of this violence. Oppressions are connected and the different forms it takes often share common roots. These roots include capitalism, racism, hetero-patriarchy and colonialism.

Migration and borders cannot be seen as separate to any of this. As Harsha Walia so eloquently outlines in Undoing Border Imperialism, borders are not mere things, they are part of a process of exploitation and displacement. This is very clear when we consider how different the rules are for corporations. Businesses are free to cross the globe at will, extracting resources, using cheap, or even slave labour, leaving behind environmental disaster, making profit and dodging tax and responsibility along the way. People who happen to have the wrong documents, the wrong nationality or skin tone are violently attacked for trying to cross these borders.

Mass deportations closely link to the ongoing process of colonialism. But so does airport expansion. Just as Heathrow is given a green light to build a new runway and drive climate chaos, corporations like Shell have been free to exploit the oil fields of the Niger Delta for decades. Through this they have caused as much oil spills each year as the Deepwater Horizon disaster, caused a health crisis from water contamination, murdered activists such as Ken Saro Wiwa and also been a major driver of climate chaos.

Yet, when people from this region seek a better life here in the UK, a country that benefits from the cheap oil that Shell provides, they are distrusted about their eligibility if seeking asylum and violently deported on mass. Profit for corporations, environmental destruction, and racist migration and asylum processes are all tied together in a insidious web. As Wretched of the Earth succinctly put it ‘Your Climate Profits Kill’ and they do so in a myriad of ways.

With such intertwined roots, we cannot stop the climate crisis without stopping the processes of colonialism that corporations are engaged in or without stopping the racist deportations that the UK government carries out to facilitate this process. To attempt to do otherwise is blind optimism at best or whitewashed environmentalism at worst.

Of course, there are even more direct links between these issues. There are companies like Tascor and Capita that are directly involved in this violence and direct profit from it. These companies are getting rich, charging vast amounts of money to facilitate this violence. This is a violence that sees people getting their arm broken on transit, a violence that kills people like Jimmy Mubenga. These companies get away with this because they do their work in the shadows. We aimed to shine a light on this process, making them face up to their actions and take responsibility for it.

Above all, however, the main reason we did this was because we were asked to. We have direct contact with people affected by this particular charter flight, who feared for their lives if they were sent to Nigeria and Ghana last night. Acting in solidarity and as allies to these people, we took their lead, as they are the ones most directly affected by this violence. We hope that our action prevented these cases from happening, but also that it acts as a catalyst in the campaign to end charter flights once and for all.

Whilst the world may be turning it’s attention to the racist misogynist in the White House, let’s not forget that our own house is far from in order, that the legacy of colonialism and racism is long lasting and that we need to take action here and now. You can start by signing this petition asking UK Prime Minister Theresa May to stop charter flights and end deportations.

 

Secrets of a Successful Organizer, le parfait guide de l’organisateur et de l’organisatrice syndicale!

Montreal IWW - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 04:00
Impossible de parler de Secret of a Succesful Organizer sans d’abord mentionner Labor Notes, l’organisation qui l’a publié. Labor Notes est un mouvement qui, depuis 1979, rassemble des militant.e.s syndicaux, dans le but de remettre le « mouvement » dans « mouvement ouvrier ». Publiant des manuels divers et organisant des conférences et des formations visant à renouveler le…Lire la suite Secrets of a Successful Organizer, le parfait guide de l’organisateur et de l’organisatrice syndicale!
Categories: IWW

Recovery of Universal Health: strategies to unlink economic benefits from social benefits

Recomposition - Sun, 03/26/2017 - 14:00

What is the path from healthcare as we’ve known it to a society where everyone has the resources necessary for their full development? The mire of healthcare reform in the United States and the constant vigilance necessary to develop public health systems in other countries can obscure the need for a longer term strategy. Today we are sharing the translation of an article from Spain that describes how capitalism corrupts health care, and a strategy to move from our defensive stance today towards a decentralized collective system of healthcare owned and organized by workers and the community. 

By Pedro Heraklio 5/8/2015. Translated by S Nicholas Nappalos
Taken from Regeneración Libertaria

The current health industry must be understood as a sectorial-economic framework consisting in elements important for our welfare: the hospitals as guarantors that give access to services, mutuas,[1] clinics that fill gaps, and pharmacies that provide the material or social services which prevent the deterioration of our quality of life. But as important as the pharmaceutical industry are the universities or the media, which form the social imaginary about health services, our perception and degree of satisfaction with them.

This fact does not go unnoticed by the capitalists who take advantage of any sliver of weakness within their own system to personally benefit, at any cost including our health. Over time we see clearly the strategies used, but also ways to correct them.

Business strategy: obtaining liquidity to be used in investment funds

Private healthcare rubs their hands whenever a service concession is on offer in a territory. Of note are the 256 private companies in Madrid. Among them we highlight Capio, Chiron, Mapfre, Adeslas, Sánitas, Red Cross, and Orden de San Juan de Dios as some of the most powerful. These companies dominate the private market. The Health Lobby in Spain is grouped in Sedisa, an association of 900 health industry executives who use their money to buy legislators and control the concessions.

Here is a list of health companies in the Spanish State:
http://empresite.eleconomista.es/Actividad/SANIDAD-PRIVADA/.

The healthcare industry is not the only industry represented by its infamous flagships interested in the privatization of the health, there is also the infamous insurance industry, organized in its no less infamous Adecose lobby. They do not only seek the privatization of the health system, but also that public pensions to pass into private hands, which would enhance the insurance sector and advance the market feast for investment funds. It is a chain in which the latter are the real stakeholders. The changes are gradual, but obviously decided. Among the operators in Spain we find heavyweights like AXA, Allianze, Atlantis, Reale, Mapfre, or national leaders such as Mutua Madrileña, Mútua Catalana, Patria Hispana or Pelayo.

Media Strategy: Professors, scientists and journalists on the payroll

The following article shows how the healthcare industry uses all possible means to acquire health services in different countries. It is disturbing to see the relationship of the industry with scientific societies and the media, who are always willing to publish studies to the letter that benefit their patrons. Teachers, scientists, journalists, politicians and counselors are part of the propaganda apparatus.

Aging population will not trigger health costs – CAS

Contrary to what is being said in recent years by various tribunals, the aging of the population will not lead to an exponential increase in health expenditure, according to the Institute for Research and Socioeconomic Information (IRIS) in a recent study whose authors Affirm that discursive “catastrophism” is a strategy in the service of privatization.

The “assistance” of the private sector

IRIS notes an annual increase in spending of barely 1.28% associated with aging – a “perfectly sustainable” situation, Hébert says. “Alarmist speech prepares the ground for massive privatization. When the State declares itself incapable of maintaining the supply of health services, people are told that it will be necessary to obtain assistance from the private sector”.

The study concludes that “the greatest risk in terms of aging is the neoliberal ideology that informs almost all state reforms and the implementation of public policies.”[2]

Luckily, homogenous thinking and ubiquitous propaganda are compensated for by alternative and counter-currental media that are increasingly being accepted in society. They require too many obvious lies to maintain the system.

Political Strategy: revolving doors

No to cuts, yes to health and public services!

It is also curious to see how a necessary non-elective public service is given to private companies who charge double or triple the price.

Such a loss of public capital is only explained by the feedback between political power and private interests; They make deals in the shadows, usurping control through these maneuvers from public representatives (opposition parties, trade unions and professionals). There are, in these practices, flagrant conflicts of interest and the abusive and shameful use of revolving doors.

“Some characters (Lamela, Güemes, Rocío Mosquera, Antonio Burgueño) have achieved notoriety by skillfully practicing the “revolving door”. The damage caused by these actions – to society, to the health system and its workers, to our health and our descendants – is immeasurable. These fraudulent practices evade social control, the oversight of public bodies, and justice. But they become consummated facts that, in some cases, can be difficult to reverse”. Diario Digital Nueva Tribuna

Recovery of Universal Health: Social Strategies in Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Problems:

Briefly summarizing general problems derived from our needs. The main objective would be to maintain the services and ensure their future functionality.
– The chief threat is the lack of budgets and debts contracted.
– The current semi-private management is deficient and more than doubles costs compared to public management, which is why the current scenario of economic instability threatens the medium-term viability of services.

Partial solutions:

 

The solution of the different governments,[3] both central and regional, with their neoliberal traditions, is to privatize services and consultation, which further increases the cost per patient, making the system unsustainable. The solution is even worse than maintaining the current system.

A quick solution would be the internalization of the privatized services, which would reduce the price of the service per patient to practically half.

Another solution in the medium term would be to rethink the general strategy of health services, currently with a medicine dominated by the Pharmaceutical Industry and focused on biological causes. The concepts of Health-Disease and a psycho-social cause approach should be raised again. Here the problems and resistance of the oligarchies would begin, as they influence the prevailing order and system.

But all this would maintain the current structural problems: waste and scarcity, duplicities, bureaucratization, diversion of funds, nepotism or incompatibilities that lead to health to be a product at the service of economic and political powers, full of parasites and on the brink of inefficiency and not a public service.

Ultimate solution: unlinking the economic benefit and social benefits

For health to be sustainable and efficient, we need to dissociate the economic benefit from social benefits. This could not be done through a state or privatized model.

The current model is unsustainable. But not only for health, but rather for any public service. It is a business model of management that enhances profit in economic terms, hiding itself behind health indexes demarcated by social agents. But these agents also act on the terms of business, such that commercial objectives are imported to public services with the same terms.

As long as the current, corporate and politicized model continues, reproducing the shortcomings, the conflicts of interest which lead to health to be one of the main budgetary problems of the country will continue.

A model change is needed: entrepreneurs and politicians are unable to meet our health needs. We need services managed and controlled by employees and users and not by entrepreneurs, technicians or politicians with personal interests in taking advantage of their privileged position to take advantage as we see today.

The method would be to organize services managed by communities horizontally. Which would require:

Specific management methods, going beyond the business model, not only in health centers, but also in neighborhoods, districts, municipalities and regions.

Overhaul of the portfolio of services
Reorganize the organizational chart based on workers units of management and commissions, and not by management.
Review the responsibilities of the positions: elected or rotating, revocable and depoliticized, without positions based on faith.

Review of coordination with other institutions

Model Change: Independent Management Units and District Assemblies

This model change has already been realized in other times, so we know it is possible and has worked. The key and the problem lies in getting political power away from economic power.

In order to achieve control, sustainability, and the rational supply of this vital social good, economic self-management was proposed, embodied by the CNT’s plans, to organize the management of the means of production to be demand-driven, rather than supply driven. The model is quite simple: workers organized in independent, self-managed, coordinated and federated work units rationalize production; a logical, economical (cheap), and transformative plan, but one that is far from the current social prospects. Capitalists also realize the power of this model, but when these units are managed in a business way they are a disaster, i.e. a way of introducing privatization, increasing costs and reducing services. This is because their way neither has workers units, nor is managed, nor is independent.

Private property is too protected by repressive means, so a possible start would be to separate politicians, who are often entrepreneurs, from their political positions. To throw them out of town councils, institutions and offices.

A District Assembly that organizes a Health Commission could be able to make some changes, especially in the portfolio of services and coordination with other institutions, but the general policy is demarcated by the state and the Health Act. We recognize here an opportunity with great potential.

[1] A type of semi-cooperative insurance system in Spain.

[2] Sources: http://iris-recherche.qc.ca/publications/vieillissement via Anti-privatization Coordination of Public Health in Madrid

[3] The Spanish state is partly constituted by various regional governments with a degree of autonomy in some cases.

Categories: Class Struggle, IWW

FAU and IWA – looking back to look ahead

Life-Long Wobbly - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:11
Reasons for the end of one history and the beginning of a new one.
FAU and IWA – looking back to look ahead

 

Dresden FAU participation in “Solidarity Without Limits”, 2016.

In December 2016, the IWA, formerly the International of revolutionary syndicalism and anarcho-syndicalism, expelled its sections in Spain (CNT), Italy (USI) and Germany (FAU), thereby losing at least 90% of its members. The decision at the IWA congress in Warsaw came as no surprise. It concludes at least 20 years of agony for an IWA which has gradually abandoned its roots and the principles of its foundation in December 1922.

Translated by Emal Ghamsharick

This text represents the view of the International Secretariat of the Free Workers’ Union of Germany (FAU) on the development of the IWA and the fault lines of the past decades. We relied several times on two current posts on the blog “Amor y Rabia,” because we couldn’t have said it better. [Translated here: 1 and 2.]

Although we are sad about this break in our history with the IWA, we still hope that new opportunities for a more open project will arise. A project with a new outlook connecting – or even uniting – revolutionary syndicalists, anarcho-syndicalists and unionists worldwide. This might help overcome old divisions and this momentary split.

Formation of the IWA in 1922 and rebirth in the 1970s

The IWA was founded as the International of all revolutionary-syndicalist and anarcho-syndicalist unions in Berlin in 1922. In the early years, some of its member organizations had hundreds of thousands of members and very different approaches to unionizing. The organization was held together by mutual aid, a commitment to the “principles of revolutionary syndicalism” and trying to evade the influence of the emerging Leninist parties, who aimed to convert unions across the world into pawns of their party politics.

Still the IWA’s influence on the history of the workers’ movement remained limited. During the Spanish revolution of 1936, the CNT – the largest IWA section with more than half a million members – did play a decisive role. But the defeat of all revolutionary hopes for a liberated society in Spain also accelerated the decline of the IWA. Many national sections had already been smashed during the rise of fascism throughout Europe and Latin America. The brutal hegemony of Leninism, followed by Stalinism, throughout labor unions worldwide increased the pressure. By the start of World War II, all IWA sections had been destroyed, save the Swedish SAC.

The SAC also faced pressure in the early 1940s, but not from fascism, as in Germany, Italy and Spain. The Swedish government decided to task labor unions with managing pension and unemployment claims. The tacit goal was to force all workers into the toothless social-democratic union and to marginalize the SAC. Fearing this development, the SAC made a U-turn in 1942 and began to participate in managing the government’s social security funds. This included the creation of an official apparatus. It was not until 2009 that the SAC decided to re-radicalize most of its strategies.

This was the backdrop for the 7th IWA Congress in 1951, the first one in thirteen years and after WW II. The SAC’s strategic turn was heavily criticized for weakening revolutionary syndicalism by making the union an extended arm of government and as a pacification strategy against workers. As a result, the SAC stopped its membership payments to the IWA and opted to leave the International in 1957.

The IWA thereby lost its last member to be an actual union. It began transforming into a federation of mere propaganda groups with no tangible influence on class struggles. The peak of the Cold War was a “march through the desert” for the anarcho-syndicalist movement. It also had to endure a series of strenuous conflicts within the Spanish CNT. The members of this largest IWA section were either exiled or lived under the constant threat of being persecuted, killed or locked up by Spanish authorities.

In the 1970s finally some hope began to reappear. The student movement, wildcat strikes, the crisis of 1973 and the resurrection of the CNT starting in late 1975 paved the way for several new anarcho-syndicalist organizations, such as the FAU in Germany (1977) or the Direct Action Movement (today called Solidarity Federation), founded in 1979 in Britain. The revived USI, the historic Italian IWA section, held its first congress in 1978. In the late 1980s the CNT-F in France caused a stir with its first collective actions. Small groups of unionized activists from other countries also began joining the IWA. So the 16th IWA Congress in 1979 was the first in a long time to see the admission of several new organizations. Many were still small, but very motivated to join the class struggles in their regions.

The split in the Spanish CNT and the works council question

The first throwback came soon, once again from Spain. Here the CNT had risen like a Phoenix from the ashes after the death of the dictator in 1975. Hundreds of thousands of workers joined within a few months and celebrated their new confidence in July 1977 with a meeting hosting nearly 100,000 at Montjuïc in Barcelona. Parts of the Spanish government began seeing the CNT as the greatest threat to the country’s development towards capitalism, so the “Democratic Transitional Government” did everything to keep the CNT out. For example it closed the Moncloa Pact, which promised legally guaranteed participation through works councils plus subsidies to unions. In return the participating unions had to accept severe restrictions, on the right to strike for example.

A bitter conflict broke out within the CNT on whether to join this Moncloa Pact. One side argued that being the only labor union to factually slide back into illegality would weaken workplace organizing efforts. The other side, with a view on Swedish experiences, warned that joining the Pact would tame the revolutionary union for the benefit of the capitalists.

As a result of this conflict and a number of other factors, such as workers’ disillusionment and depoliticization caused by the “democratic transition,” the CNT’s inability to integrate such masses of new members in such a short period, and attacks by the secret police on the CNT’s reputation, membership figures crashed. At the fifth union congress in 1979, the first one after the dictatorship, the delegates represented just 30,000 members, while two years earlier, the CNT had still counted around 200,000.

At this 5th Congress a majority of CNT syndicates decided not to join the Moncloa Pact and not to participate in works council elections. As a result, several syndicates left the union and founded their own organization in 1979, which today is the CGT.

The conflict in Spain affected the IWA as a whole. More importantly, however, the bitter, sometimes even judicial dispute in Spain made it impossible to openly discuss the underlying problem: How can a revolutionary-syndicalist or anarcho-syndicalist strategy on the company level be successful, without being pacified by the works council model or becoming irrelevant in the workplace? Because this question was not openly discussed within the IWA in the early 1980s, many new sections had to tackle the same Sisyphean task which had plagued Spain and Sweden.

Crisis in the CNT-F – good-time problems

It began with the French CNT in the early 1990s. The union had succeeded in founding a large and very rebellious branch within the Paris Metro cleaning company COMATEC. The workers, mostly from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, had very precarious contracts, but promptly organized a first successful strike. To shield its members against the heavy conflicts with management, the CNT-F participated in employee delegate elections in 1991. The same happened at SPES, another cleaning company, where the CNT-F had built a strong branch.

This tactical participation in union elections to protect threatened members was approved retroactively at a CNT-F congress, but still caused heavy tensions, leading up to a split in November 1992. One part founded a union comprising nearly all branches – originally named CNT-Vignoles after its Paris headquarters – which supported occasional tactical participation in works council elections. The much smaller part held its founding congress in May 1993, was named CNT-Bordeaux after the seat of its coordinating committee and strictly opposed any kind of participation in workplace elections. Both organizations claimed to be members of the IWA.

This was the beginning of a sweltering conflict for the IWA because, for one thing, the “French problem” also affected the Spanish CNT. The children and grandchildren of Spanish exiles in France had helped make the CNT-F successful and mostly supported the CNT-Vignoles. However, a dominant sector in Spain fully supported the CNT-Bordeaux, This led to heavy quarrels within the Spanish CNT and finally to the resignation of the Spanish IWA General Secretary, who had tried to negotiate instead of choosing a side.

What made the conflict permanent, however, was how the 20th Congress of the IWA (Madrid, 1996) finally dealt with the situation. The only agenda topic was an “open debate about the situation in France.” Therefore, most sections, whether attending with delegates or only by written mandate, had not made any particular resolutions. At the congress, the Spanish CNT and the tiny Norwegian NSF then suddenly made a motion – under breach of IWA procedures – to expel the CNT-Vignoles and recognize the CNT-Bordeaux as the only French section. The motion was actually voted on, in a very heated atmosphere, and so it happened that the majority of French IWA members were expelled through an unworthy and unprecedented maneuver, supported by only three sections and against the vote of the FAU. The vast majority of sections present abstained, since they could have no mandate for motions they had not been informed of in advance.

This slammed the door on any amicable solution for the French situation. Another result of the Madrid Congress was, that the decades-old option of recognizing multiple sections in one country was struck from the IWA Statutes.

The crisis in Italy

In parallel with the split in France, a conflict also developed in the Italian section, the Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI-AIT). Here too, the challenge was finding a suitable strategy for workplace unionizing. However, the question in Italy was not whether to participate in works councils, but about its relationship to the other Italian grassroots unions, which were mushrooming since the early 1980s. One part of the USI (called USI Rome due to its regional focus) supported dissolving their union into alliances with other grassroots unions. The other part wanted to maintain the USI as an independent union with its own profile. The conflict led to a split in May 1996, where the pro-independence part held a congress without the USI Rome in Prato Carnico.

At first, delegates of both organizations attended the 1996 IWA Congress. After the USI Rome delegation left the general meeting in vocal protest, the Congress declared that this meant the withdrawal of the USI Rome from the IWA, and that the USI-AIT was the legitimate Italian section.

The USI Rome never accepted this decision and calls itself USI-AIT to this day, causing frequent confusion. They have even taken advantage of this situation to torpedo numerous collective actions of the real USI-AIT. Italian legislation requires that strikes be declared to the authorities in advance. The USI Rome has used this to call off strikes started by the real USI-AIT by sending letters to the authorities and has thereby effectively broken these strikes.

Prohibitions and distrust instead of cooperation

As described, the conflicts within the CNT-F and the USI, the two largest sections after the Spanish CNT, peaked just before the IWA congress in 1996 and were decided here. Originally, the 20th IWA Congress intended to fortify the reborn IWA by adding many new members. But since the agenda was manipulated and the Congress was troubled by the unworthy behavior of several delegates and visitors, it actually triggered a fatal internal dynamic in which the Spanish CNT played a crucial role.

The first step had been taken several years earlier – at the 1984 IWA Congress in Madrid, a motion by the Spanish CNT (which had just experienced the worst split in its history) was passed, which prohibited formal relations between IWA sections and the Swedish SAC. The reason for the motion was the SAC’s financial support for the CNT splinter group in Spain, the later CGT. The resolution left room for interpretation, which led to future conflicts.

The mentality expressed in this motion soon began to poison the atmosphere throughout the IWA. Seeing splits in its largest sections, the International started acting like a wounded animal and no longer trusted anyone. Trust, the basis for any federalism, was therefore replaced by control. Sections were threatened with penalties whenever this seemed necessary or appropriate.

A resolution at the 21st Congress (Granada, 2000) upheld this logic. A procedure euphemized as “contact rule” and passed upon the initiative of the Norwegian NSF now requires that in countries with existing IWA sections, all contacts with other organizations must go exclusively through this IWA section. This logic, which aimed to replace federalism with a sort of confederate feudalism, had dire consequences. Just as in the manipulative expulsion of the CNT-F, the FAU made use of its right to reject this IWA resolution as non-binding.

The sorcerer’s apprentice

The poisoned atmosphere and the increasing self-isolation of the IWA were aggravated by the nomination of the new IWA Secretariat in 1996. What would have been needed was a balancing leadership to calm things down and build bridges. Instead, the Spanish CNT nominated its former general secretary, José Luis García Rúa as the IWA General Secretary. Over the three years of his mandate, he managed to pour fuel into the fire at every occasion.

Starting in the late 1990s, transnational movements sprang up, many involving workers, which mobilized against capitalist globalization and its strategies of exploitation without borders. These movements mobilized large and militant demonstrations against the summits of the ruling classes, where we often joined unionists on the street, whose syndicalist organizations did not or no longer belonged to the IWA.

Instead of leveraging the new situation and the great demand for a transnational response to exploitation and domination, the IWA General Secretary started searching for “enemies of the IWA.” And he found them everywhere! Not among governments or capitalists, though, but in the IWA, SAC, CGT, CNT-F and various other syndicalist organizations outside the IWA. And of course also among those within the IWA, who saw the “enemies” elsewhere.

Starting a witch hunt instead of using the opportunities would not have been possible without the tacit or active support by a majority of IWA sections. In this respect, it became striking that starting from the mid-1990s more and more small groups were given full IWA membership, without actually having the chance to develop any unionizing experience. Many of these very young organizations proved to be very volatile and prone to dogmatism. Combined with the practice that IWA resolutions are passed by one vote per section, regardless of size, groups began to dominate who had a firmer grasp of history books than of the reality of class struggle.

The FAU and i2002

The turn of the millennium saw heavy internal hostilities, not just against the USI, who was heavily attacked by the new Russian and Czech sections (and others) because it dared participate occasionally in the umbrella organization Rappresentanze Sindacali Unitarie (RSU).

Just after the 1996 Congress in Madrid, FAU delegates had warned that the Congress would trigger a long phase of division and sectarianism, instead of building bridges between the various revolutionary syndicalist, anarcho-syndicalist and unionist organizations and currents. In the following years, the FAU tried to oppose all tendencies which threatened to turn the IWA into an exclusive debating circle without contact to social struggles. This included making use of its statutory right to reject IWA congress resolutions, which promoted division instead of understanding.

To offer a positive alternative to the IWA’s growing paranoia, the FAU held an International Solidarity Conference (i2002) in the German city of Essen in 2002. The conference aimed to follow in the footsteps of the i99, which had just taken place in San Francisco.

i2002 deliberately avoided sending formal invitations to unions or other organizations or their official representatives. Instead, the invitation went to all members and activists of all revolutionary syndicalist, anarcho-syndicalist and unionist organizations, who were looking to discuss, socialize and make plans for a few days. For the small FAU, this successful conference was also an enormous effort, a milestone in its development and a confirmation of its assumption that beyond all the divisiveness and distrust there is space for ideas, our experiences and common projects.

But not everyone was happy about the conference and the exchange it enabled and promoted, or about the FAU’s insistence on freely choosing its forms of action, in line with the principles of revolutionary syndicalism. In the run-up to the i2002, the IWA Secretariat and a majority of its sections had heavily attacked the FAU’s presentation of i2002 at an IWA general meeting and countered it with all sorts of verbal abuse.

The “FAU Act” – dictatorial powers for the IWA Secretariat

It came as no surprise that the IWA’s most dogmatic members now saw the FAU as their main adversary. At the 2004 IWA Congress in Granada, it was once more the former IWA General Secretary García Rúa who brought a motion by the CNT for an “FAU Act,” a unique provision in the history of the IWA. It gave the IWA Secretariat exclusive power to dismiss the FAU with immediate effect, if ever it should find that the FAU continued to disregard the principles and resolutions of the IWA. Almost needless to point out that this motion again was not listed on the previously published agenda, and therefore was not covered by the mandate of the attending section representatives. What had begun in 1996 as a vicious, manipulative exception was now developing into a real method.

Should we stay or should we go now?

Facing the developments after the 1996 IWA Congress, the FAU discussed for many years whether it made any sense to remain in this self-isolating International. Several exit motions at FAU congresses failed, such as the first one in 2001 or later ones in 2005 and 2014. Either the majority opinion was that the FAU should not leave on its own, or there was a clear exit majority, which failed to reach the three-quarters majority required for such fundamental decisions, because some syndicates still hoped that the IWA might change its self-destructive course and return to its founding principles.

Final act of the tragedy

In the years following the congress in Manchester (2006), the situation inside the IWA calmed down somewhat: The French section stopped denouncing the FAU for its links to the CNT-F – or was rather busy dealing with its own upcoming split. Criticism of the FAU’s casual contact with the SAC became quieter. In Spain, the tables had started to turn, and the part of the CNT which emphasized collective action over ideological debates was about to put the dogmatists in their place. The Spanish CNT and the USI tried limiting the dominance of micro unions within the IWA by proposing a minimum size for unions and voting rights proportional to membership. As expected, the proposal was denied.

The FAU’s wish to establish connections to the Polish “Workers’ Initiative” (IP) – a spin-off of the local anarchist federation – led to an escalation, as the IWA had already taken in the ZSP as a Polish section, which had been founded by former IP members. The ZSP considered the FAU’s contacts with this supposed “competitor” a breach of solidarity, although the FAU’s primary support still went to the ZSP and their joint actions. One reason why the FAU maintained contact with the IP was that they were involved in labour conflicts with multinational corporations in the German-Polish border region, and the FAU wanted to learn about organizing in large companies. The FAU therefore stated that it needed no permission to make contacts, because it had not accepted this particular IWA resolution.

After a member of the ZSP was elected as IWA Secretary in 2013 and the FAU formalized its links with the SAC, the CNT-F and the IP, the new IWA Secretariat immediately suspended the FAU in September 2014 and cited the “FAU Act” of 2004 as justification. This meant in effect that the FAU was barred from all internal communication in the IWA and lost its right to vote – although it stayed a member section of the IWA until the congress of December 2016 in Warsaw (where it was officially disaffiliated, along with the Spanish CNT and the USI). This meant the IWA Secretariat acted with executive powers, which it should never have had under its federalist principles, which were also thrown overboard in 2004.

The fact that the “majority” of all IWA sections (which represents barely 10% of the members) confirmed the suspension at an extraordinary congress in 2014 in Porto was the last straw for the Spanish CNT and the USI. At its 2015 congress, the Spanish CNT pushed the reboot button and invited all IWA sections to build a new foundation for the International and begin an international project to revive the IWA’s founding principles.

Of course, solidarity with the FAU wasn’t the only reason for the Spanish CNT’s break with the IWA, as is currently claimed. The USI, the CNT and the FAU had to accept that the IWA in its current shape serves only itself, but not as a driver for self-organised class struggle on the basis of revolutionary syndicalism. This might be painful to realize, but in the difficult times which are upon us, it’s no use for us to keep flogging a dead horse out of nostalgia.

A new project in difficult times

If we see the signs right, we’re about to live through a stage of populism unparalleled in recent decades. The aim is to divide workers and the oppressed by nationalist and racist rhetoric. Against the project of a world full of new walls running along borders and through our minds, we need a project to tear down all walls and instead connect workers to organize solidarity and mutual aid. We have no more time to cultivate differences – let’s instead search for what connects our struggles for better living conditions and for a world without exploitation and oppression.

The Spanish CNT, the USI and the FAU have therefore decided to jump-start a new international project. An initial conference with unions and affiliated groups from eleven regions on two continents took place in the Basque city of Barakaldo. We hope this will be a new beginning for the small but radical part of the international workers’ movement. Today, more than ever, we insist that the working classes and their exploiters have nothing in common and any hope in states and political parties is not part of the solution, but part of the problem.

The International Secretariat of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU)

[Originally posted February 14, 2017 on the FAU’s website.]


Categories: IWW

The movement for safe staffing rations for all nurses: an interview

Recomposition - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 10:17

Labor movements have always tried to find ways to wrestle control over working conditions away from the boss. Workplace injuries and deaths are still at epidemic levels which in some industries in particular can mean life and death. Health care still suffers from disproportionately high levels of injury in in-patient settings such as hospitals, rehab centers, and nursing homes. Led by nurses, the movement for safe staffing has sought to create hard limits on the amount of patients that can be assigned to health providers for both the safety of the patients and their care givers. Following decades of militant action California nurses and nurses in provinces in Australia achieved safe staffing legislation which research has vindicated in improving care, reducing mortality, and avoiding provider burnout. We interviewed Jenny, a Maryland nurse involved in the movement to spread these measures about her experiences as a nurse and the movement.

Was there a moment or event at work convinced you that safe staffing is needed? 

I didn’t focus on safe staffing fully until I had left the hospital. I wasn’t aware of the problem fully until I became a legal nurse consultant, and it made me look back on my experience, and I realized I had been incredibly lucky that no one died while they were under my care before I left the hospital.

But because hindsight is 20/20 this is my story.  I interviewed for two positions in the city of Chicago.  The first one (the one I should have taken) was a night shift at another hospital that was working towards Magnet status. However, I knew nothing about Chicago and saw the neighborhood around the hospital and saw that it was dilapidated and run down, and decided it wasn’t a safe neighborhood.  The second one was on the lake front and appeared to be in the safer neighborhood. My first clue that this was a bad job for a new nurse, and later for any nurse, was that they were honest with me, and it had been a decade since they had hired a new nurse.  I was honestly flattered that they thought I would make a good fit as a new nurse at their organization, and I needed a job. So I accepted.  I got a signing bonus, because at that time everyone got a signing bonus, and I was supposed to get training and mentorship that was the common standard for new nurses as the time (2006). After about 6 or 8 weeks I was considered ready to take on my own patient load without supervision, and was “assigned” a mentor. The mentor I was “assigned” was my boss. Having your boss be your mentor doesn’t work, at least for your first mentor, it may work down the road once you’ve had some experience and you can recognize what your boss has to offer.  It wasn’t long after I started off on my own that I realized that something (and what that was I didn’t know yet) was going to have to give if I wanted to do the job well.  It turns out the something was not only patient safety (which was a misnomer to begin with at this organization), but my personal health. Not long after I became a floor nurse I was regularly in charge of 6 patients over the course of a shift, a slow night saw me down to three with discharges, and within 3 months of me being on my own I was expected to manage vent patients- training consisted of this is how you suction, this is how you silence alarms- it was only later that I learned about breath support, changing settings and how to better understand the patient on the vent, now you can take care of a vent patient.  New nurse on a telemetry step down unit (my unit) and now responsible for six patients, with one on a vent regularly. It’s a wonder that I didn’t kill anyone. I’m still amazed. At about the one year point, I was diagnosed with shingles, which my primary care physician directly related to stress on the job. It was right after this (the timeline starts to get fuzzy at this point, so it may have been right before this) that I came in one day only to find the dedicated charge nurse had a family emergency and as the second most experienced nurse on the floor I was being trained to be charge nurse, on top of my patient loads. Needless to say this was not pretty. Not only was I a charge nurse but many nights we had ANOTHER new grad whom I was responsible for training as well. Talk about the blind leading the blind. About six to eight months after this I was in a hurry passing medication and had two patients located in the same room, as with most of the rooms being double, and a good night resulted in many of the patients being in the same rooms, because then there was less travel, I put the medications for both patients in my pocket, and forgot to do one more check at the bedside, administering the wrong medications to the wrong patient. I had been written up for any number of things since I had become a nurse, but a wrong medication error was too much and I was fired from the job.

Have you gotten involved in other social movements because of your activism on safe staffing? 

Before this year I wasn’t aware that there were safe staffing movements outside of Magnet Hospitals or California.  While I recognized the importance of it I wasn’t aware of anything being done outside of those areas. Legal Nurse Consultants are, in my experience, treated like we’re either second class nursing citizens, or somehow that we failed as nurses, rather than those who have a unique perspective to nursing, and a unique impact on the role of safe staffing.

How have you experiences organizing affected your perspective at work or within the health system? 

I think it’s made me hyper aware of the problems faced by staff nurses, and I now ask about it when I’m in a new facility. I recently had the chance to visit an acute care rehabilitation hospital where staffing wasn’t ideal but it was significantly better than the standard at 1:7 or 8, and I got to talk with the nurse manager about some of the difficulties in getting that and some of the benefits that have allowed them to maintain that level of staffing, including less patient falls, and better outcomes in the care surveys sent to the patients and better discharge outcomes. She also said they were able to better respond to patient acuity needs with lower staffing numbers.  It was heartening to hear that it has worked well.

Where do you see this movement in 10 years?

Assuming we do not win safe staffing we need to move forward to continue to push back against the people who say it costs too much, who say that nurses need a bachelors or put other barriers in place. Part of the biggest barrier against safe staffing include the number of employed nurses.  If we do not consider all possibilities in encouraging safe staffing the movement will fail within 10 years.

Assuming we win national safe staffing ratios, what next?

Enforcement of the laws. If there is no financial reason for enforcement, many places will not enforce them. Ensuring that enforcement includes more than just the hospital, ensuring that enforcement is in place in the nursing home, assisted living, and long term acute care facilities as well.

Why do you think we have unsafe staffing essentially across the country, and in reality in most places in the world? 

Money. Money is at the heart of the problem. Also a lack of understanding into each others roles. I posted an article to one of the safe staffing websites that I found interesting because the administrator admitted that their staffing ratios contributed to the problem, and there was an immediate attack on the consultant that was being called in to help resolve the problem.  Is there something else that the consultant could bring to the facility besides the facility paying them money to pay for what they already know? Sometimes a new set of eyes can identify another problem that is overlooked by the staff because it’s status quo. We don’t need to be afraid of consultants, we need to embrace the importance interdisciplinary relationships, even within the field of nursing.

What can everyday healthcare workers do to ensure safe staffing today in their jobs and neighborhoods? 

Talk. Talk about the role of safe staffing, share stories of staffing gone right and staffing gone wrong. The stories of things going wrong are important, but the stories of things going right are almost more important.  Its not just killing PAT, but it’s the times in which safe staffing saved a life that’s important too. People need to know that it makes a difference. They need to respond to it on a personal level, and when the neighborhood, when the community at large recognizes the need for safe staffing, and the importance of it, they’ll start demanding it, but as with most things, until it directly impacts them, they don’t recognize the importance of it.

At the same time its important to SHOUT IT from the rooftops because the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Jenny has been a registered nurse for 10 years, currently residing in Maryland and is a certified legal nurse consultant. Her speciality is nursing home malpractice, but she’s worked in Workers Compensation, telemetry/stepdown, private duty and home health nursing. 

 

Categories: Class Struggle, IWW

La double adhésion. Questions et Réponses

Montreal IWW - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 04:09
Vous trouverez ci-bas quelques notes m'ayant servies de brouillon pour un éventuel atelier sur la double-adhésion (Ndtr : le dual carding, soit l'adhésion à l'IWW et à un autre syndicat). Vous trouverez des questions et mes réponses juste en dessous. J'espère qu'il s'agira là de la première publication d'une série sur ''Le SITT-IWW et les autres syndicats”' ayant pour but de souligner quelques perspectives sur le sujet.
Categories: IWW

Kündigung eines Kollegen nach Engagement gegen erschreckende Arbeitsbedingungen

IWW Germany - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 03:03

Nach zweijähriger Arbeit beim mobilen Pflegedienst “Die Pflegeexperten” in Frankfurt am Main wird Harald Stubbe fristlos gekündigt. Der Kollege versucht bei dem 8 köpfigen Unternehmen einen Betriebsrat zu gründen, wurde dann aber mittels massiver, illegaler Behinderung und Drohungen durch die Geschäftsführung anschließend gekündigt. Das Vorgehen des Unternehmens ist für sich genommen bereits ein Skandal, steht jedoch auch stellvertretend für die Praktiken in der Branche. So berichtet Harald Stubbe: “Ich habe Windeln gewechselt, habe Insulin und Klexan oder Marcumar gespritzt, habe Verbände gewechselt und Wundversorgung gemacht. Künstliche Ernährung angelegt und Medikamente in eine Magensonde gespritzt oder die Beutel an künstlichen Darmausgängen gewechselt. Einiges hab ich mir aus YouTube-Videos angelernt.”…”

Aus der Presseerklärung der Industrial Workers of the World Frankfurt am Main vom 24. Januar 2017. Harald Stubbe hat Kündigungsschutzklage eingereicht und zudem mannigfaltige Vergehen angezeigt. IWW klagt wegen Behinderung der BR Wahl. Weitere Ermittlungen gibt es beim Bauamt, Finanzamt und der Berufsgenossenschaft… Siehe dazu einen Bericht des betroffenen Kollegen im Beitrag, darin auch Protest- und Solidaritätsadressen, zu denen wir aufrufen!

Proteste bitte an: Die Pflegeexperten
Maßbornstraße 37, 60437 Frankfurt
Tel: 069-551577 / Fax: 069-48982996 / info@pflege-experten24.de

Solibekundungen sind erbeten an: organizing@wobblies.org

Der Beitrag Kündigung eines Kollegen nach Engagement gegen erschreckende Arbeitsbedingungen erschien zuerst auf Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) im deutschsprachigen Raum.

Categories: IWW

Kündigung eines Kollegen nach Engagement gegen erschreckende Arbeitsbedingungen

IWW Austria - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 03:03

Nach zweijähriger Arbeit beim mobilen Pflegedienst “Die Pflegeexperten” in Frankfurt am Main wird Harald Stubbe fristlos gekündigt. Der Kollege versucht bei dem 8 köpfigen Unternehmen einen Betriebsrat zu gründen, wurde dann aber mittels massiver, illegaler Behinderung und Drohungen durch die Geschäftsführung anschließend gekündigt. Das Vorgehen des Unternehmens ist für sich genommen bereits ein Skandal, steht jedoch auch stellvertretend für die Praktiken in der Branche. So berichtet Harald Stubbe: “Ich habe Windeln gewechselt, habe Insulin und Klexan oder Marcumar gespritzt, habe Verbände gewechselt und Wundversorgung gemacht. Künstliche Ernährung angelegt und Medikamente in eine Magensonde gespritzt oder die Beutel an künstlichen Darmausgängen gewechselt. Einiges hab ich mir aus YouTube-Videos angelernt.”…”

Aus der Presseerklärung der Industrial Workers of the World Frankfurt am Main vom 24. Januar 2017. Harald Stubbe hat Kündigungsschutzklage eingereicht und zudem mannigfaltige Vergehen angezeigt. IWW klagt wegen Behinderung der BR Wahl. Weitere Ermittlungen gibt es beim Bauamt, Finanzamt und der Berufsgenossenschaft… Siehe dazu einen Bericht des betroffenen Kollegen im Beitrag, darin auch Protest- und Solidaritätsadressen, zu denen wir aufrufen!

Proteste bitte an: Die Pflegeexperten
Maßbornstraße 37, 60437 Frankfurt
Tel: 069-551577 / Fax: 069-48982996 / info@pflege-experten24.de

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What’s at stake in the health care debate?

Recomposition - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 22:19

Our #healthseries was conceived and collected throughout 2016 at time when the Obama administration was winding down, and before the ascent of Trump or the more recent rumblings of the right in Europe. For workers in the health industries the changing political winds are part and parcel of the day to day conditions as funding and regulation changes continually intrude on the work, caring for other human beings who often have no other options. The debate in the United States over how to provide health care to a nation increasingly burdened by the costs and dissatisfied with the status quo has returned with a vengeance. One of our editors and contributors, S Nicholas Nappalos, comes at these issues as a nurse and organizer, and tries to unpack the implications of the growing health crisis, what alternatives we really have, and what health for-and-by workers and the community could look like.

What’s at Stake in the Health Care Debate? 

S Nicholas Nappalos

The 2016 election cycle has shown that health care is lining up to be a key fight in the next few years. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is looking increasingly weak as soaring costs of insurance, drugs, and equipment are eroding whatever meager benefits there were in reigning in the all consuming burden of the American health system.⁠1 Bernie Sanders made a medicare-for-all proposal a cornerstone of his campaign, something which the National Nurses United (NNU) and Our Revolution has vowed to keep fighting for.⁠2 Colorado had a similar single-payer plan on the ballot where insurance bureaucracies would have been replaced by a state-run insurance program, but would retain private health institutions and medical industries.⁠3 Hilary Clinton fended off the insurgent challenge of Bernie supporters, but not without having to pay lip service to their cause.⁠4 Poll after poll demonstrates popular support for nationalized health programs across Americans.⁠5 While Clinton indicated a need to revisit the vague “public option” Wikileaks later exposed her method of dividing her private positions, disclosed to Wall Street firms in her infamous paid speeches, and a separate public one.⁠6 None of this is earth shattering, but it shows that all the power brokers have been honed in on health.

A slow moving crisis

It looks to become even more central however. Estimates are the medicare funds will have to reduce benefits within two decades.⁠7 States that did not expand Medicaid have offered private market based plans that within a few years are already not affordable even with subsidies.⁠8 Where Medicaid was expanded projections for expenses are to rise significantly putting strain on already underfunded systems that suffer from severe shortages of specialists and resources.⁠9 In reality we are witnessing the slow unfolding of a multi-decade health care crisis. Health-related spending makes up roughly a quarter of the entire federal budget and is expanding rapidly. Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs alone represent 16% of the federal budget and are projected to grow substantially.⁠10 It is the largest portion of federal spending outpacing both social security and the military.

The drivers of this are our nearly singular combination of unregulated profiteering industries and particularly pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and a multi-layered mediating bureaucracy that introduces inefficiencies into an already top heavy industry. The American health crisis is deepening not only because of excessive bureaucracy introduced by the byzantine insurance system, but also due to its embrace of both protecting industry through strict intellectual property rights and placing barriers to any regulation of prices for pharmaceuticals and equipment. It’s worth noting that health insurance and hospitals themselves are barely profitable with the median around 3% which is near inflation levels only. The profit tends to go to all the feeder industries selling products used by patients and purchased by health institutions.⁠11 An Institute of Medicine report identified nearly 800 billion dollars in waste created by unnecessary services, excess administration, inefficient service delivery, overcharging, fraud, and failing to utilize potential preventative measures.⁠12

These factors have made it the most expensive health system in the world.⁠13 The people of the United States pay more than any other country for our health care, and with poor outcomes across a wide array of metrics. The political implications of this are not hard to see. The more political discourse digs in around the health system as a test of capitalism itself, the stiffer the resistance to reforming the obvious and preventable issues with it. The main players still see defense of vested interests in health care as an ideological defense of capitalism.

Holding to that position increases public spending however and is increasing the federal deficit each year. Dismantling the drivers of those costs, in private hands, would lead to real economic losses with implications for the world market. Some authors have noted that pharmaceuticals were the stars of the market for decades, and have been in a decline that has not been recovered.⁠14 Further cutting into those losses may have more disruptive effects in an economy that already has challenges ahead represented by geopolitical conflicts in Asia and Europe, and an anemic recovery to the global economic crisis of 2008.

With the failure of Colorado is to forge ahead (and other states before it) and the victory of the Republicans across the board in this year’s election, meaningful reform seems quite unlikely in absence of a movement that can force their hands. Some other states may try the route of  the ballot initiatives that failed in Colorado, Oregon, or Vermont’s legislature’s push. The disparity of forces between vested capitalist interests and their lobbying power and the electoral process itself makes it a near certainty of failure without a widespread popular change in attitude and action.

Can single-payer save us?

(Photo by Michael Nigro) (Sipa via AP Images)

These problems will not go away for the rulers simply by ignoring them. With a single-payer program there would be substantial savings for the country as a whole and indeed millions of people will have their lives changed for the better. Any reduction in the vast waste that we’re chained to and an expansion in access to quality care is something we should cheer and fight for. Single payer would reduce some of these costs, in part through eliminating unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and negotiating lower prices through economies of scale. This has been the traditional progressive answer for these reasons to all things health related.

Despite whatever positives however the fundamentals would remain, with much of the control in the hands of the same drug companies, equipment and product manufacturers, and broken institutionalized practices of American medical professionals (such as reliance on specialists, the persistence of fee for service payment, and over use of capital intensive health techniques). Cutting the costs of the insurance industry would be a positive step, but it’s not a panacea, and it’s not clear whether it could prevent a crisis that is already happening.

Universal Medicare would certainly be more expensive than the system of the Veterans’ Administration (VA). One Congressional Budget Office study showed the VA to be twenty one percent cheaper than care under Medicare.⁠15 The VA which shares some similarities to the National Health Service of the UK wherein the system owns the entirety of health services from hospitals, pharmacies, equipment, and hires the staff. By eliminating paying outside private entities, the VA and NHS thereby reduces the profit otherwise paid to private companies at each stage. While Medicare-for-all would eliminate insurers as secondary payers, such companies are deeply entangled in Medicare itself. Private companies provide supplemental plans for necessary services not covered by Medicare and as well as processing claims for Medicare itself.⁠16 Without an elimination of private billing for services those additional administrative costs would remain. Medicare-for-all would not mean an end to Blue Cross, Aetna, or United Health necessarily.

Nor should health advocates glamorize European style public health. Across the world public health is under attack. Right and left governments have target slashing spending and limiting access. Ideology certainly is a component of this, but objective budget pressures are driving these forces. Universal public health care is worthy, but it is not a panacea. Americans would likely face the same attacks even were there such a victory as institutional pressure to put the burden of care onto the working class will remain.

If legislation granting universal Medicare is unlikely, VA-for-all is a lone voice in the wilderness. One could imagine the resistance likely to nationalizing private hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. And yet if there is no substantial reform, what is the real cost paid to all of those services with a shrinking working population, jobs being lost to automation, and a growing base of those who will need care for decades? Should conflicts heat up, what would be the effect on the market if health advocates won such a struggle and take health institutions outside of the world of profit so to speak?

Health care is at the center of stressing both market and state forces and this presents an opportunity for movements that challenge capitalism. This crisis in health is not just about the policies of different players (liberal and conservative, socialist and reactionary), but about more fundamentally capitalism’s capacity to provide for health needs. Market allocation and private industry are central to the failures of the American system, things not easily hidden when confronted head on. Globally speaking the industries that profit off health, both public and private systems, have been some of the leaders for investors generally. Losses within health care could spell deep trouble for the economy across the board and perhaps tip us back into recession or depression in the context of a world that has not fully recovered from the shocks of 2008. Even in countries with overtly state-provided healthcare similar elements of crisis have been building in the past decades around run away costs, shortages, and declining quality of care. Health care is a key sector for radicals to make our case and put the ruling class on the defensive.

Health is bigger than our health care

Demanding universal health care has been a broad call amongst US progressives for the past 50 years or so. Is that really the main issue though? At its heart single-payer is about how we allocate existing health resources. Yet we do not only want to more equitably and economically distribute health, but also improve it. If you think about it, universal health is a fairly open demand. It could be redirected to any number of outcomes including universally terrible health. There is an insidious medical apartheid that punishes various sectors (workers, women, blacks, latinos, and indigenous, etc.) while granting luxury health services to a tiny elite. There is a clear move towards diminishing care for the public in general with overall declining standards of living. This year life expectancy declined for the first time in decades without much protest or reaction from the political establishment.⁠17 Instead we are utilizing our collective resources towards the high-tech capital intensive care that benefits a tiny section of the population. Merely asserting universal care without contesting the monopoly on wealth and power that the entrenched capitalist class  wields would not fundamentally change the exclusion of the working and under classes from quality health care.

What we want then is not only universal health access or affordability, but a different vision of the health of our society. Supporters of the status quo are already starting at a weak point: saddled with debt, their various solutions failing, and objective stresses that make reforms hard going. We can challenge them by putting forward proposals for health based on liberatory and solidary values that addresses our everyday reality, and show how capitalism and the state work against health.

There is a key role for health care workers to play in this fight by exposing the injustice we see, advocating for our patients, and leveraging our power as workers to move the discussion in a more radical direction. Healthcare workers networks could provide the structure and voice of struggles that mobilize the communities receiving the services and challenging administrators and legislators tasked with imposing austerity and maintaining our unequal health system. The power brokers fear the attention health workers draw with the clear sympathy of the community, and their capacity to turn public opinion against their enemies with public actions. Direct action by health workers is a powerful tool that could oppose the Trump presidency’s anticipated attacks where the disarmed liberal opposition will likely stand idly by.

At the same time mobilized movements of patients and communities could destabilize the government’s attempts at austerity and create political crises. Such pressure can be transformative when we go on the offense and not merely get saddled with defending a system under fire in a crisis that is not our own. Mobilized patients and workers together would prove a particularly difficult body to demonize, and may be strong enough to split support traditionally held in check by fear mongering against health reform. An anarchosyndicalist approach in particular, with it’s emphasis on direct action, self organization, and advocacy of anti-state and capitalist solidarity within workplace and community organizations, is well positioned to take on the systemic aspects of the crisis and at the same time organize local alternatives to daily needs of workers and patients.⁠18 The uniqueness of the convergence of forces (state, work process itself, and society as a whole) give a special power to workers action directed against the state and towards the collective health of society.

In general we should fight for whatever we can get. That being said, it’s important to contest the debate and the form it takes as the limitations with Medicare-for-all above demonstrate. If we don’t, we will get whatever serves the interests of the same groups that have mangled the present system. A full theory of health is beyond this short article, but is a clear necessity given the scarcity of progressive proposals that go beyond access and reform of service delivery.

Any strategy for fundamental change in health care will have to grapple with immediate, medium, and long term issues. The focus here will be on the medium and long term as they are consistently neglected due to the previous desperation to achieve single-payer of any kind. The lack of a clear alternative vision does weaken the movement by giving the impression that the present is inevitable, and privatization the only way. The incoming Trump administration has already made noise around cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, attempting to privatize Social Security, and perhaps going after subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

In the short term health movements face a steady current towards further privatizations that will increase costs and thereby further endanger both public safety nets and the health system in general. This may represent intentional crisis mongering to justify further austerity in some cases. We should defend against any such attacks. Yet it’s important to recognize that pure defense is likely to allow conservatives to draw lines that are favorable to them (unending escalating costs, poor quality of care, need for more choice/options, etc). For that reason in the short-term it will be important to formulate places where we can expose the failure of the entire system to provide needs, mobilize people around those barriers, and use direct action to improve the care we’re providing and receiving. One response that addresses costs is to call for integrating privatized services within health systems to reduce administration and bring for profit enterprises under public or community cooperative structures. Likewise much of the costs are related to unnecessary and ineffective treatments related to industry-led medicine and a model of treating illness that is widely acknowledged to be problematic. Demanding a shift to preventative population health approach  including addressing psychosocial could provide substantial savings and increase the quality of care for individuals while addressing our poor performance on national health metrics.

Issues in focus should include the amount of time allowed with providers (which is set by reimbursements and the system of payments amongst all insurers), rationing of services that have strong evidence demonstrating efficacy and preventative capacity (physical therapy, access to strong multi-disciplinary holistic care for certain chronic diseases, robust patient education, etc), how electronic health record software is allowed to dominate care time for the sake of largely bureaucratic and legalistic concerns (to the benefit of the bloated software industry and with poor outcomes for patients). Thus a short term strategy should combine defense of safety nets with going on the offense in ways that seek to open up care while exposing the vested power interests bankruptcy in providing real solutions. Such fights could build the foundation of a health care movement in the medium term as well as in other sectors.

In the medium term, there must be a shift from contesting elements of the present system to transforming the underlying structure and logic that perpetuates these cycles of crises, inequity of health, and health oppression. In order to make those necessary changes profit and hierarchical power have to be removed from the functioning of the health system altogether. This cannot be done under either a state or private system as both rely upon the reproduction of wealth and power relationships for their basic functioning. The focus then must be upon struggles that provide a connection between fundamental aspects of the health system and the experiences of the exploited and oppressed.

For one inequality and the domination of health resources by the wealthy  is a clear problem. Any solution must propose reallocating health spending away from the skew towards capital intensive medicine for the few and in the direction of population health for the many. This will involve significant struggle not only around state allocations and taxes, but also in terms of local struggles to ensure communities are treated equally across different counties and regions and contesting wealth extraction within workplaces and population areas. This can be achieved in different ways taxes being the most obvious, but we shouldn’t rule out direct expropriation to collective structures outside the state. The double edged knife of state-provided health is that you inherently hand over key decision making power of those effected. An alternative would be to obtain control of common self-governing health institutions and fund them through expropriating wealth of the capitalists where capital cannot be completely defeated. There are many smaller steps that can be taken in that direction in the meantime.

One thing that must be put on the table is to gain more direct control over how health programs are implemented, funded, and distributed. A productive conflict is to be had in taking on state and industry monopoly of decisions here. Particularly in the case of women, marginalized racial communities, and workers the necessity of having those effected gain a direct role in shaping the priorities and realization of health care. Health institutions reflect the societies they develop within and reproduce power relationships that exist throughout society. This is to say our health care is a racist, sexist, ableist health care and one in which the decisions over the health of the exploited and oppressed are held in the hands of people who neither understand nor share the interests of those served. Both the oppressive power exerted against populations can be attacked as well as imposing the right to assert autonomy over care of those effected. It is likely that the incoming regimes will be vulnerable on these points as they prove unwilling to accommodate clear inequities and institutionalized health racism, sexism, and oppression of those with chronic diseases.

Organized collectivities asserting the legitimacy of their place in organizing their experience of the health system could provide energy towards further struggles in health and beyond. Along with patients, workers themselves have clear knowledge of the issues within the field which should be married to such a movement in discrediting the positions of management, capital, and the state. Workers movements should likewise contest more control over policy, direction and administration of health institutions, and do so under self-organized workers councils allied with organized communities. This could take the form of combative communal structures uniting neighborhood, municipal, and regional community councils with horizontal workplace councils which expropriate and demand wealth from both the state and capital, and challenging the control of existing public decision making bodies.

Most importantly there is an opportunity to change what is considered a part of health. Health is not merely treating existing diseases or avoiding potential disease. Human flourishing is an expression of good health. It is also something that societies can inhibit or promote. Many things that have been constructed as natural are in fact socially shaped illnesses. For example, suicide, traffic fatalities, and concentrated urban violence represent challenges to the capitalist city and of course are significant causes of morbidity and population health burdens. Such phenomena have deep impacts on multiple points of the health system. A robust health movement could challenge urban space, transit, education, and even the type and availability of work itself in the medium term. Bringing these issues under debate and organizing actions around such, patient and workers movements could further weaken the enemies of public health and broaden the appeal of a direct action movement aimed at the welfare of society as a whole.

The automation revolution underway threatens to make our bodies mere appendages with sedentary work becoming the norm. The pantheon of chronic diseases associated with inactivity have an inherent connection to these capitalist led shifts in the production process. It is another point for a liberatory health movement to demonstrate the connection between systemic exploitation and epidemics. Liberation of time for physical activity and the fight for more human scale work that incorporates the needs of bodies could be a powerful challenge to narratives try to put the blame on individuals.

Growing social isolation is a recognized health danger and obviously connected to broader social ills. Massive resources are poured into creating infrastructure for commerce and consumption, whereas much of social planning overtly tries to minimize social interaction. This has in turn been internalized to an extent with a culture in the US of anxiety towards social interaction. Yet there is already a current underfoot of people longing to connect and interact with others outside of their chosen social circles. Health advocates can demonstrate the impact of organized social isolation arising from the priorities of the planners, legislators, and capitalists who organize collective resources in the interests of the powerful. Part of our fight is to assert new ways to utilize the time and spaces available to us for restorative and necessary social experience, and to fight for expansion of those basic human desires. As capitalism seeks to harness our time and bodies towards profit alone, such a movement can raise awareness of that tension and counterpose it to a society based on solidarity and collective enjoyment of what can be developed in common.

These few examples are far from a comprehensive list of what might be raised in a thorough rethinking of our health. But what about our long term goal? What is an alternative view of health if not a private or state-led system? We should not put too much stock in speculation and crafting blueprints. Any society-wide plan could only be created through the experimentation, input, and crafting of countless individuals. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t or shouldn’t propose broad outlines that can serve as inspiration and ethical guides. The basic functioning of any health system is to help individuals and populations achieve the greatest capacity their bodies and minds can attain. Health in short would be one portion of our quest for meaningful lives. A true alternative to the present would be a system that seeks to mobilize resources on the basis of social solidarity toward maximal expansion of individual development. This would require orienting towards health demands of the population rather than a supply oriented system such as those we see at present.

What this looks like is actually relatively simple. Workers and the community make the decisions over how to produce and distribute health resources. Workers would organize how they produce, but under the priorities and direction of community needs. Health resources would be distributed based on the needs presented with changes coordinated in realtime by workers councils and effected communities. This system would eliminate the administrative infrastructure and replace it with self-organized communal and workplace structures. It would likewise cut the vast waste and harm from unnecessary treatments aimed at profit, insulate the public from the machinations of power which today operate through money and control over hierarchies within the state and health institutions, and could provide society in general with a thriving population with positive ramifications throughout. We also have historic models we can look such as the CNT’s health services during the Spanish revolution of 1936 which approximates such in key ways.⁠19

A revolutionary health movement’s job is to put things like this one the table. Inherent to this is the fight to social space for living and play, meaningful social lives, the capacity to build families and circles, to be able to use our bodies each day and not merely for those who have time and money to afford it, and to develop our full mental and physical capacity to our own self-chosen ends without the exploitation of our bodies by workplaces, businesses, and governments. We are living in a time of unparalleled opportunity for this movement. The challenge is to now find ways in our daily lives to bring together others into an organized force that can disrupt the grip the powerful hold over health, and coalesce into a movement for more fundamental change.

1 Lazarus, D. Sept. 20, 2016. Sick: The biggest increase in healthcare cost in 32 years. http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-rising-healthcare-costs-20160920-snap-story.html

2 Our Revolution. https://ourrevolution.com/issues/medicare-for-all/ Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

3 Luthra, S. Nov. 9, 2016.Ballot Initiatives: Voters Reject Calif. Drug Pricing Measure; Colo. Single-Payer System. http://khn.org/news/calif-voters-reject-high-profile-drug-pricing-measure/ Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

4 Newkirk, VR. (2016). Medicare for more:

Hillary Clinton’s new proposal to expand coverage for middle-aged adults provides a glimpse at how she would make Obamacare her own. The Atlantic. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/clinton-new-medicare-proposal/483806/

5 Kaiser Family Foundation. Feb. 25, 2016. Public Split On What to Do About the Health Care System. Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

6 Wikieaks. HRC Paid Speeches. https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/927 Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

7 Sahadi, J. Jun. 22, 2016. Social Security trust fund projected to run dry by 2034 http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/22/pf/social-security-medicare/

8 Tolbert, J., & Young, K. (2016). Paying for Health Coverage: The Challenge of Affording Health Insurance Among Marketplace Enrollees. Kaiser Family Foundation. http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/paying-for-health-coverage-the-challenge-of-affording-health-insurance-among-marketplace-enrollees/

9 Cassidy, C. (2016). Rising cost of Medicaid expansion is unnerving some states. Associated Press. Accessed 12/15/16. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4219bc875f114b938d38766c5321331a/rising-cost-medicaid-expansion-unnerving-some-states

10 Congressional Budget Office. (2016). The 2016 Long-term budget outlook. Accessed 12/15/16. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51580-ltbo-one-col-2.pdf

11 Kliff, S. (2015). 8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care. Vox. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.vox.com/2014/9/2/6089693/health-care-facts-whats-wrong-american-insurance

12 Smith, M., Saunders, R., Stuckhardt, L., & McGinnis, J. M. (Eds.). (2013). Best care at lower cost: the path to continuously learning health care in America. National Academies Press. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2012/Best-Care-at-Lower-Cost-The-Path-to-Continuously-Learning-Health-Care-in-America.aspx

13 Squires, D., & Anderson, C. (2015). U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective: Spending, Use of Services, Prices, and Health in 13 Countries. The Commonwealth Fund. Accessed 12/15/16. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective

14 For example Pain, E. (2011). A Pharma Industry in Crisis. Science Magazine. Accessed 12/2/16. http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2011/12/pharma-industry-crisis

15 Congressional Budget Office. Dec. 2014. Comparing the Costs of the Veterans’ Health Care System with Private-Sector Costs. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/113th-congress-2013-2014/reports/49763-VA_Healthcare_Costs.pdf Accessed Dec. 2, 2016.

16 Rover, J. (Jan. 22, 2016). Debate Sharpens Over Single-Payer Health Care, But What Is It Exactly? Accessed Dec. 2, 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/22/463976098/debate-sharpens-over-single-payer-health-care-but-what-is-it-exactly

17 Stein, R. (2016). Life expectancy in U.S. drops for first time In decades, report finds. National Public Radio. Accessed 12/16/16. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/08/504667607/life-expectancy-in-u-s-drops-for-first-time-in-decades-report-finds

18 For more on anarchosyndicalist organizing, see Solidarity Federation. (2012). Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle. Freedom Press. http://libcom.org/library/fighting-ourselves-anarcho-syndicalism-class-struggle-solidarity-federation

19 See the chapter on the socialization of health services in Leval, G. (1975) Collectives in the Spanish revolution. Freedom Press: London. http://libcom.org/files/Gaston%20Leval%20Collectives%20in%20the%20Spanish%20revolution.pdf

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