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north america / mexico / workplace struggles Tuesday December 06, 2016 21:23 by Tom Wetzel
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"The claim that "syndicalist unions broke off from mainstream federations to form 'purely revolutionary' unions, cutting themselves off from the mass of workers" doesn't hold up, though it does conform to the Leninist orthodoxy of "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder. There were many countries where the syndicalist unions were the majority--such as Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Brazil. Syndicalist unions in South Africa, such as the Industrial Workers of Africa (modeled on the Industrial Workers of the World), were the only unions that organized native African workers, who were excluded from the white craft unions.
At the time of the mass occupation of the factories in Italy in September 1920, the USI (Italian Syndicalist Union) was claiming 800,000 members, and the factory councils formed throughout Italy in those events were mostly organized by the USI. Moreover, it was the anarcho-syndicalists who initiated a militia movement ("arditti del popolo") to fight Mussolini's fascist squads. But the Communists didn't cooperate, and the Socialist Party capitulated to fascism.

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