The occupation of Thomas Cook


On Friday 31st July workers at Thomas Cook occupied the shop on Grafton street. Management got a court injunction against the occupation and on Monday morning a huge force of Gardai sealed off the area, smashed their way into the shop and arrested the 28 workers inside.

The workers at Thomas Cook were fighting for a better redundancy package. To the approximately €700,000 offered by the company, the workers are demanding an added €300,000. That afternoon the High Court released the workers and negotiations were started on an improved redundancy package. The articles were written by WSM members involved in supporting the struggle of the Thomas Cook workers.

A Victory for the Thomas Cook Workers is a Victory for Us All
Written at the start ofthe struggle - In a bid to close its outlets in Ireland, the Thomas Cook travel agents has begun by attempting to sack 44 workers at its two offices located on North Earl St. and Grafton St. in Dublin’s city centre.

Thomas Cooke workers show the way - Don’t be bullied by state or bosses
Written after the struggle - When a force of 80 – 100 gardai arrived at the Thomas Cooke office in Grafton Street Dublin at 5a.m. on Tuesday 4th August, smashed the door down, and dragged 28 protesting workers off to the Bridewell Garda Station, the Irish state was attempting to deliver a strong message to all workers.

Background articles

Direct Action Gets the Goods: Visteon Occupation Pays Off
The occupation of the Visteon motor parts factory in Belfast ended on May 3rd when the company gave in and agreed pay extra compensation of between six month’s and nearly two year’s money to the workforce for the loss of their jobs. (more on Visteon occupation)

Clear as Crystal ... Waterford Shows the Way
The workers at Waterford Crystal occupying the plant are an example to us all. Rather than accept the closure of the business, the loss of all the jobs and the destruction of the area’s premier industry; workers seized the buildings making liquidation impossible for the receiver.

Thinking About Anarchism: What Can a Strike Achieve?

People often pose the question, what can a strike achieve? The WSM policy on trade unions states the following: “What is anarchism? When we get down to basics, it is workers collectively running a free society. Instead of taking orders from the boss and serving his/her mad rush for profit at any cost, it is about working together for the common good.

There's Plenty of Cash For The Rich

There is a very real recession and the big question is who should pay. Should it be those who run the system in their own class interests? Or should it be those who have no say at all in big economic decisions? Should it be millionaires or working people?

WSM position paper on the Trade Unions

This is the collective policy of the WSM as agreed at our national conferences that guides our work in the unions and workplaces in general.

Workers Without Bosses - Workers' Self-Management in Argentina
(RBR8, 2004)
The original battle cry of Argentinean people "Que se vayan todos" - We want all of them out - that expressed the will to break with the corrupt bureaucracies, with the political class, turned out with all of them staying in the end. These experiences also highlight many of the problems anarchists elsewhere face in the wake of popular risings and they show us that the building of a libertarian society is not a matter of repeating clichés and slogans.

Argentina says "Enough"
(WS69, March 2002)
On the 19th and 20th of December 2001, there was a major popular revolt in Argentina which among other things led to a large number of workplace occupations with workers putting these occupied factories back into production under their own self managment. Workers Solidarity 69 reported on the start of the process in early 2002.

Workers Self-management in Argentina
(WS73, Nov 2002)
The most direct challenge to capitalism is the occupation of factories by workers. On the 1st of October last year, the workers of the Zanón ceramics factory in Neuquén, one of Latin America's largest ceramics producers, occupied their factory and have kept it running ever since. The bosses had stopped production, claiming the factory was no longer profitable and that they could no longer pay the workers. In similar circumstances in Buenos Aires, the female workers of the Brukman textile factory occupied their workplace and have been running their plant successfully for the last 10 months.

More articles from the WSM on workplace struggles