They have billions, we are millions, the slogan of a recent strike in France. The 1% have billions they can invest and pay their workers but use it mostly to increase their own comfort and wealth. The 99% are millions, in the whole world even billions, but strikes do not help them much.
In the past strikes were a good weapon even before labourers had trade-unions. There were successes though 1% continued to rule. Workers often had meagre salaries and not a very satisfactory life. That changed somewhat but in the last thirty years the differences between incomes of the 1% and the 99% have grown tremendously. At the same time strikes are less used in rich Western countries. Strike successes became rare.
The world changed. In the past directors of factories were often also owners. Strikes influenced the private life of the director/owner. Now factories have become concerns and the incomes of the top are hardly influenced by strikes. The 99% must thus find new ways to pressure the private living sphere of decision-takers. In a struggle for a better society in which all people have influence we need actions that directly pressure decision-takers. Strikes have become dumb weapons and should not be used anymore.
Union leaders do not use new weapons to force the 1% to improve the living of the 99% but started to talk with political servants of the 1%. These talks are even less successful as strikes. The position of workers deteriorates. Long-term contracts are replaced by flex contracts that at the most secures work for a few years. Then workers must find another job. When they are over fifty years jobs become difficult to get and salaries of flex jobs are mostly lower than salaries in the old long-term jobs that have disappeared.
Trade-union leaders hardly understand this because they lost most contact with workers by trying to join political servants. They do not understand anymore the daily problems of common labourers. They have become decision-makers who do not have much contact with people over which they decide. They climb up in the money and power pyramid and do what political servants do, taking decisions that in first place promote the incomes of the 1%. People in lower regions of the pyramid have even less to say than in the past. Members of trade-unions lost their trust in trade-union leaders and become populists.
Workers should think about the slogan “They have billions of euro, we have millions of people”. How can we activate our millions to attack the 1% so that our wishes for better living conditions become honoured. Trade-unions leaders will not do that.
Read chapter 12. “Autonomous Clubs pressure leading people. They control, veto and eventually punish faulty leaders who violate our privacy, freedom and well-being.” via http://members.chello.nl/jsteenis/Revolution12.htm.
Or download freely my latest book “How to make Revolution, developing the Fourth People’s Power” via http://members.chello.nl/jsteenis/Revolution.pdf about how to pressure the 1%.
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