Alternative Work Organisations
Stream at the International Labour Process Conference 2010, Rutgers University 15-17 March 2010
MAURIZIO ATZENI, Loughborough University, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
DARIO AZZELLINI, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Germany , email@example.com
IMMANUEL NESS, Brooklyn College CUNY, US, firstname.lastname@example.org
Acute and deep economic crises, like the one we are currently experiencing, have always had an important role in reshaping people's lives and societies. By momentarily breaking the flow of production and consumption, destroying wealth and creating unemployment, economic crises interrupt the regular working of accepted socio-economic systems and open the room to popular protests and searches for alternatives. In the labour movement's history one of the forms in which the dominating system has been contested and responses to crisis have been found has been through workers' run and controlled production. Defined as workers self-management or autogestion, to use the more catchy Spanish definition, different forms of workers' empowerment at the level of production have been used in different geographical contexts alongside the history of the capitalist system of production. Reverting taken for granted assumptions about property and capital control of the labour process, cases of workers' self-management can be seen as an alternative work organisation, a theoretical proposal to overcome capitalism and a form of radical struggle and rank and file strategy for collective action.