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Class Struggle Across the Pacific Rim

Organizing Committee:

Los Angeles sits at a vital node in one of the most important globalized production chains of capital. The combined port complex of Los Angeles/Long Beach is the busiest in the Western Hemisphere and the 6th busiest in the world; they handle 40% of U.S. imports from Asia. China has become the factory of the world, so Pacific Rim trade is one of the most dynamic locales of global accumulation, as commodities leave the shopfloor in China destined for the retail showroom floors of the U.S. But this global division of labor, with its system of “lean production” and just-in-time delivery of goods, has many vulnerable chokepoints. This was best shown by the May Day General Strike of 2006, where the 16,500 striking troqueros shut down the LA/Long Beach Ports by 90%. It took months to clear up the logistical backlog. The point of production strikes at automobile factories in China in May of 2010 led to a strike wave that brought production of cars to a standstill, showing the weak links along the whole supply chain. What if a strike spread along the whole supply chain, from the auto workers in Guangdong to the maritime workers on the high seas, to the longshore workers and transit workers and the retail workers at the Wal-Marts of the world? Just posing such questions shows the need to re-strategize class struggle on the terrain of globalized capital. This presentation is based on a survey of job actions and strikes across the Pacific Rim, but mainly on the strikes in China last spring.


Andy (Mouvement Communiste)


Gifford Hartman (IDP S.F. Bay)




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I can't make it to the first meeting but would love to attend later meetings as you continue...

commodityfetish's picture

1.“Workers Autonomy Strikes in China” (2011, Mouvement Communiste/Kolektivne Proti Kapitalu

2.“Logistics – The Factory Without Walls” (2006, Brian Ashton, Mute Magazine)

3.“The Cargo Chain: Workers Who Make Our Economy” (2008, produced by a collaboration of The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Labor Notes, and The Longshore Workers’ Coalition):

4.“On the Front Lines of the World Class Struggle: The Cargo Chain” (2011, JoAnn Wypijewski, CounterPunch):

Some films

1.“Race to the Bottom” (2008, 20-minutes; documentary about troqueros working the Port of Oakland)

2.“The Box that Changed Britain” (2010, 58-minutes; documentary history of intermodal cargo containers and changes in transport industry)


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