Victory for Wildcat Strike at EuroMaint Rail
Kim Muller posted the following on Libcom, it’s a rather good example of how effective workplace blogging can be as tool for workers organising action outside of the traditional union structure. I’d be interested in learning more about how the workers publicised the blog to their co-workers. I’m starting to look at the blog now and will post up some translations in the next few days.
In december EuroMaint Rail took a step previously unheard of in Sweden. They annonuced that they would fire ALL their 91 employees in Malmö and reemploy them from temp agencies instead. The union (SEKO) wanted the politicians to do something about it, or negotiate it in the collective agreements now in march. In late february, nothing had (of course) happened.
At the factory, there was total chaos as the actual EuroMaint employees and people from six different temp agencies worked side by side. At the end of february faceless employees started up a blog for the shopfloor workers and called out for action to stop the lay-offs. The blog soon become widespread among the workforce and the 8th of march they annonuced that as soon as the dismissal letters were handed out a wildcat strike would start. Plans for go-slows and the “run the plant backwards” was also announced.
Just three days later the company annonuced that there will be no lay-offs as suddenly “orders went up”. And today, after 4 more days, the CEO was fired. Spirits are high right now, but as the same time the union “claims the honour” and the blog is written off as critizing the union work. The founders of the blog themselves doesn´t claim the honour but instead mean that the wild pressure from the workforce is what made the difference.
This win was important, not just for the EuroMaint Workers. But also because many, both capitalists and the workers movement, was looking to see what would happen. If the company would have succeeded, it is very likely that many more would have followed.