One of the forms in which the working class exists today is at the various nodal points along global commodity chains. Even the global production of food is increasingly based on a just-in-time system of production, distribution and consumption -- in addition to being financialized and subject to speculative bubbles. But these commodity chains are vulnerable and this suggests struggles could spread down these chains.
Sister machinist unions, San Francisco's Lodge 68 of the International Association of Machinists and Oakland's Local 1304 of the CIO's Steel Workers Organizing Committee (which left the IAM over a wildcat strike in 1936), had a national reputation for militancy; Lodge 68 had more strikes during World War II than all other Bay Area unions combined. Along with Local 1304, they accrued this strike record in open defiance of the National War Labor Board, who were backed by the FBI, the Office of Economic Stabilization in the White House, a Navy Vice-Admiral, the War Manpower Commission, the collective bosses, who in turn were supported by the CIO, ILWU, and Communist Party.
Nate Hawthorne takes a look at how labor-capital structures of negotiation have changed in response to worker militancy and the state changing how it deals with what capitalists do. Along the way he gets into Joe Burns' new book, the ILWU-EGT conflict, the Occupy movement and 'direct unionism'.