Why I am striking
Class struggle : Trade unions
As you may know, today university lecturers are on strike - I am not one of them, but I have stayed away from my workplace. I am not even in their union, but I have stayed away from my workplace.
In my office ysterday there was heartening concern over what to do about crossing picket lines - I decided I could not do so. Mercifully, my employer operates a policy of counting any member of staff - whether union or no - who refuses to cross the picket line as on strike. In effect, we have what teh french have, an individual right to strike.
Union membership is - formally - low in France, yet because of such rights they can pull of some terrific strikes when the need takes. I consider it important to express my solidarity with colleagues, and to illustrate that the divisions between unions is not a division between workers.
Essentially, that makes striking a matter of personal conscience - an individual decision - and so it means that the success or failure of any strike depends entirely on the consciousness and detmination of the workers themselves. No Potemkin unions, no bureaucracies to blame for selling out.
I'm not calling for such a right, merely observing that the necessary thing begins with the individual decision to join the struggle. There may be power in a union, but the fuel is workers hearts and minds.