Workplace Educational Archive


This is an archive of some talks given to WSM meetings between 1991 and 2007 on the general subjects of class politics, trade unionism and the changing nature of the working class.  For more articles and talks check the relevant subject indices

Why the Working Class?
The Workers Solidarity Movement say that a mass anarchist movement capable of getting rid of the division of society into bosses & workers, order-givers & order takers and building a new society must be based on the working class and its struggles. This is not some abstract dogma but follows on from our understanding of how change can be brought about.
 Talk given by Alan MacSimóin July 20th, 1991.

The changing nature of the working class
What we strive for is a classless society, one where as well as there being no ruling class there is no working class. Why then the obsession with the working class for anarchists rather then with just people? To this audience perhaps a strange question to start with but one that is key when we come to talk about the nature of the working class.
 Talk given by Andrew Flood circa 1993.

'Partnership', trade unionism and anarchism
As Partnership 2000 nears the end of its three year term, talks are underway by the employers' organisation IBEC, the government and the ICTU to draw up a fifth national 'partnership' agreement. While the economy is booming and the fear of unemployment has receded in most areas, our unions are not exactly overflowing with militancy. In fact we have seen an offensive by employers. Nobody needs reminding about Ryanair.
 This is a talk given by Alan MacSimóin in November 1999.

Anarchism and the Trade Unions
The Workers Solidarity Movement has, since its formation eight years ago, placed special emphasis on the struggles of trade unionists. Were we right? Why place this special emphasis on trade unions rather than any other organisation or campaign?
 Talk given by Alan MacSimóin at the WSM open discussion in Dublin on May 6th, 1992

Syndicalism and Anarchism
In the 1860s the modern socialist movement was beginning to take shape. The International Working Mens' Association or First International was becoming a pole of attraction for militant workers. As the movement grew points of agreement and of disagreement between the Marxists and the Anarchists about what socialism meant and how to achieve it were becoming clear. This led to the Marxists using less than democratic means to expel the anarchists.
 Talk by Alan MacSimóin at WSM Dublin branch meeting, November 18th 1993

Living on the Breadline - A Return to the Subject of Precarious Labour
In recent times, with the increasing influence of business interests on the state, and with the near destruction of social security, workers’ existence is becoming more and more insecure. Precarity is a term that has been developed alongside casualisation to describe the changes wrought by these and the form of working class existence that has developed because of them. Rather than the job-for-life and job security associated with such, workers’ are being coldly moulded into an acceptance of labour that rests on the whims and qualms of the bosses rather than an environment that it is within the workers‘ power to effect and change.
 Talk given by Ciarán, Lucy Parsons branch 2007.

A womans work is never done
“At rows of blank-looking counters sat rows of blank-looking girls, with blank, white folders in the blank hands, all blankly folding blank paper” (Herman Melville – “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids” 184?)

In this talk I am going to look generally at the issue of woman’s work. Initially a very quick survey of the global position – then some more specific stuff on wage differentials, house work, work conditions, child care in Europe and Ireland with some possible suggestions for some points for our new program maybe to be incorporated into a general section on work.
 Talk given by krossie to Lucy Parsons Branch, 2007.