Join us for an evening of discussion around contemporary workers’ inquiries and how different approaches might effect how we document contemporary political struggles. When Marx first designed a 100 question survey on working conditions in 1880 for “Revue Socialiste” he didn’t receive any replies. But since then a number of Marxists from various traditions have returned to the form, from CLR James, to Socialisme ou Barbarie, to Italian “Workerists”, adapting the method to greater effect. Focusing on existing conditions and struggles within the workplace rather than how agitation and organisation might take place from outside, these studies attempt to not only document the confrontations of workers and capital, but engage workers with possibilities of resistance.
Jamie’s recent book “Working the Phones” is one of a number of recent revivals of these ideas, which look at workers’ conditions in contemporary West-European capitalism rather than just in the Fordist industrial production line. Jamie will be in conversation with Camille Barbagallo and Sigrid Vertommen, who will be framing their work on motherhood/reproduction and transnational in relation to, and as, a workers inquiry. The panel will be chaired by Eoin O’Cearnaigh who is currently writing a PhD about a political history of work focussing on organising at the Ford plant in East London in the 1970s.