A 15th Principle: Self-Management of Work
by Don Fitz and Jeff Sutter
[22 aug 00]
We propose that the following statement be adopted by the Left Green Network as an addition to its Principles:
[15.] Self-Management of Work
In capitalist society, work is where many of us are forced to produce in ways that threaten our health, poison our children, and contaminate the earth for generations. Work is often boring, painful, or dangerous; work separates people from their co-workers; and work alienates people from the goods they create, which are rarely objects of beauty and are often useless polluting crap. For Left Greens, transforming society means developing a new morality where citizens are collectively responsible for the objects and substances we create, use, and leave in the world.
We believe that our working time can be spent creating goods and services which are safe and socially useful. We believe that people can themselves reorganize their labor so that it is a time of personal fulfillment and promotes the growth of relationships between those who work together.
Changing work begins with changing what we produce — but the major transformation Left Greens advocate is in how we produce it. Self-management of work is the process by which people, at work, reorganize production and challenge social hierarchy and domination.
Workers in each factory, shop, and office have the collective responsibility to determine whether production at the workplace is safe for themselves, for society, and for the environment. We have the right to alter or halt dangerous or destructive production, and the right to alternative work if we decide that production must be phased out or ended.
We have the right to select our own coordinators and enterprise managers, and we have the right to redesign jobs, rotate work, and equitably share the fruits of our labor.
We have the right to participate with other workers in reorganizing our own and related industries. We have the right to redesign output and production processes.
Self-management of work is the method of democratic community control of production, social wealth, and the natural world which uses the accumulated experience of workers to end environmental destruction and transform social production into non-exploitative forms.