Recap: Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy

In a conventional (capital-serving) corporation, labour is subordinate to capital. Capital rents workers, wherein the worker subordinates his or her self to the interests of capital. The surplus value of labour accrues to capital. Capital votes and makes decisions for the worker, either directly or via capital appointed managers. Culture is driven by “maximising shareholder value”, where the shareholders are the capital ‘owners’ of the enterprise. While this is currently the predominant form of organisation in Western society, there is no natural law demanding worker oppression and subordination to the interests of capital. Given that land (natural resources), labor and capital are all factors of production, why should capital take precedence?

In the workplace democracy movement, the power relationship is inverted. Capital is subordinate to labour. The ECWD is about building organisations whose Profit, Voting and Culture (PVC) represent the interests of labour as opposed to capital. The most common form of organisation is the worker cooperative, but people and organisations that support the principles of empowering labour over capital would be welcome at the ECWD, and have loads to learn from the community.

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