- Industrial Networks
[as amended by National Conference, April 2012]
Section 1: Affiliation to the SolFed
1a) Conditions of affiliation
Affiliation to the Solidarity Federation is conditional on agreement to abide by the Aims, Principles and Constitution, and on the payment of all applicable subscriptions.
Certain workers have roles and interests that are incompatible with the aims and principles of anarcho-syndicalism and are barred from membership. These include:
- police and prison officers;
- those who have the power to restrain or imprison in detention centres of all varieties;
- full-time trade union officials (see Appendix),
- officers or holders of Executive positions in political parties;
those who have ultimate power to hire and fire or those whose primary role in the workplace is to hire and fire.
1b) The Aims of the Solidarity Federation
The Solidarity Federation is a revolutionary union initiative: a working class organisation which seeks the abolition of capitalism and the state. Capitalism because it exploits, oppresses and kills working people and wrecks the environment for profit worldwide. The state because it can only maintain hierarchy and privilege for the classes who control it and their servants; it cannot be used to fight the oppression and exploitation that are the consequences of hierarchy and the source of privilege. In their place we want a society based on workers' self-management, solidarity, mutual aid and libertarian communism.
That society can only be achieved by working class organisations based on the same principles - revolutionary unions. These are not Trades Unions only concerned with “bread and butter” issues like pay and conditions. Revolutionary unions are means for working people to organise and fight all the issues - both in the workplace and outside - which arise from our oppression. We recognise that not all oppression is economic, but can be based on gender, race, sexuality, or anything our rulers find useful. Therefore, revolutionary unions fully support and encourage organisation in all spheres of life that consciously parallel those of the society we wish to create; that is, organisation based on mutual aid, voluntary cooperation, direct democracy, and opposed to domination and exploitation in all forms. We are committed to building a new society within the shell of the old in both our workplaces and the wider community. Unless we organise in this way, politicians - some claiming to be revolutionary - will be able to exploit us for their own ends.
The Solidarity Federation consists of Locals and Industrial Networks which support the formation of future revolutionary unions and are centres for working class struggle on a local level. Our activities are based on Direct Action - action by workers ourselves, not through intermediaries like politicians and union officials; our decisions are made through participation of the membership. We welcome all working people who agree with our Aims and Principles, and who will spread propaganda for social revolution and revolutionary unions. We recognise that the class struggle is worldwide,
and are affiliated to the International Workers' Association, whose Principles of Revolutionary Unionism we have adopted.
1c) The Principles of Revolutionary Unionism
i) Revolutionary unionism, basing itself on the class struggle, aims to unite all workers in combative economic organisations, that fight to free themselves from the double yoke of capital and the State. Its goal is the reorganisation of social life on the basis of Libertarian Communism via the revolutionary action of the working class. Since only the economic organisations of the proletariat are capable of achieving this objective, revolutionary unionism addresses itself to workers in their capacity as producers, creators of social wealth, to take root and develop amongst them, in opposition to the modern workers’ parties, which it declares are incapable of the economic reorganisation of society.
ii) Revolutionary unionism is the staunch enemy of all social and economic monopoly, and aims at its abolition by the establishment of economic communities and administrative organs run by the workers in the field and factories, forming a system of free councils without subordination to any authority or political party, bar none. As an alternative to the politics of State and parties, revolutionary unionism posits the economic reorganisation of production, replacing the rule of man over man with the administrative management of things. Consequently, the goal of revolutionary unionism is not the conquest of political power, but the abolition of all state functions in the life of society. Revolutionary unionism considers that along with the disappearance of the monopoly of property, must come the disappearance of the monopoly of domination; and that no form of State, however camouflaged, can ever be an instrument for human liberation, but that on the contrary, it will always be the creator of new monopolies and new privileges.
iii) Revolutionary unionism has a two-fold function: to carry on the day-to-day revolutionary struggle for the economic, social and intellectual advancement of the working class within the limits of present-day society, and to educate the masses so that they will be ready to independently manage the processes of production and distribution when the time comes to take possession of all the elements of social life. Revolutionary unionism does not accept the idea that the organisation of a social system based exclusively on the producing class can be ordered by simple governmental decrees and maintains that it can only be obtained through the common action of all manual and intellectual workers, in every branch of industry, by self-management of the workers, such that every group, factory or branch of industry is an autonomous member of the greater economic organism and systematically runs the production and distribution processes according to the interests of the community, on an agreed upon plan and on the basis of mutual accord.
iv) Revolutionary unionism is opposed to all organisational tendencies inspired by the centralism of State and Church, because these can only serve to prolong the survival of the State and authority and to systematically stifle the spirit of initiative and the independence of thought. Centralism is an artificial organisation that subjects the so-called lower classes to those who claim to be superior, and that leaves in the hands of the few the affairs of the whole community -the individual being turned into a robot with controlled gestures and movements. In the centralised organisation, society’s good is subordinated to the interests of the few, variety is replaced by uniformity and personal responsibility is replaced by rigid discipline. Consequently, revolutionary unionism bases its social vision on a broad federalist organisation; i.e., an organisation organised from the bottom up, the uniting of all forces in the defence of common ideas and interests.
v) Revolutionary unionism rejects all parliamentary activity and all collaboration with legislative bodies; because it knows that even the freest voting system cannot bring about the disappearance of the clear contradictions at the core of present-day society and because the parliamentary system has only one goal: to lend a pretence of legitimacy to the reign of falsehood and social injustice.
vi) Revolutionary Unionism rejects all political and national frontiers, which are arbitrarily created, and declares that so-called nationalism is just the religion of the modern state, behind which is concealed the material interests of the propertied classes. Revolutionary unionism recognises only economic differences, whether regional or national, that produce hierarchies, privileges and every kind of oppressions (because of race, sex and any false or real difference), and in the spirit of solidarity claims the right to self-determination for all economic groups.
vii) For the identical reason, revolutionary unionism fights against militarism and war. Revolutionary unionism advocates anti-war propaganda and the replacement of standing armies, which are only the instruments of counter-revolution at the service of the capitalism, by workers’ militias, which, during the revolution, will be controlled by the workers’ unions; it demands, as well, the boycott and embargo of all raw materials and products necessary to war, with the exception of a country where the workers are in the midst of social revolution, in which case we should help them defend the revolution. Finally, revolutionary unionism advocates the preventive and revolutionary general strike as a means of opposing war and militarism.
viii) Revolutionary unionism recognises the need of a production that does not damage the environment, and that tries to minimise the use of non-renewable resources and uses, whenever possible, renewable alternatives. It does not admit the ignorance as the origin of the present-day environmental crisis, but the thirst for earnings. Capitalist production always seeks to minimise the costs in order to get more earnings to survive, and it is unable to protect the environment. To sum up, the world debt crisis has speeded up the tendency to commercial harvest to the detriment of the subsistence agriculture. This fact has produced the destruction of the tropical forest, starvation and disease. The fight for saving our planet and the fight for destroying capitalism must be joint or both of them will fail.
ix) Revolutionary unionism asserts itself to be a supporter of the method of direct action, and aids and encourages all struggles that are not in contradiction to its own goals. Its methods of struggle are: strikes, boycotts, sabotage, etc. Direct action reaches its deepest expression in the general strike, which should also be, from the point of view of revolutionary unionism, the prelude to the social revolution.
x) While revolutionary unionism is opposed to all organised violence regardless of the kind of government, it realises that there will be extremely violent clashes during the decisive struggles between the capitalism of today and the free communism of tomorrow. Consequently, it recognises as valid that violence may be used as a means of defence against the violent methods used by the ruling classes during the struggles that lead up to the revolutionary populace expropriating the lands and means of production. As this expropriation can only be carried out and bought to a successful conclusion by the direct intervention of the workers’ revolutionary economic organisations, defence of the revolution must also be the task of these economic organisations and not of a military or quasi-military body developing independently of them.
xi) Only in the economic and revolutionary organisations of the working class are there forces capable of bringing about its liberation and the necessary creative energy for the reorganisation of society on the basis of libertarian communism.
Subscriptions are payable monthly to the Local to which a member is affiliated. Rates are set by Locals, which pay £3 per month per member to the Solidarity Federation as an affiliation fee, including an amount for IWA affiliation.
Section 2: Rights & duties of members
2a) The status of members
All members have the right to:
- Free expression of their ideas;
- Have their physical and moral integrity respected;
- Attend all events organised by the Solidarity Federation;
- Have full access to information about all Solidarity Federation decisions and activities;
- Remain in disagreement with decisions and activities of the Solidarity Federation, so long as they abide by the Aims, Principles and Constitution.
All members have the duty to:
- Participate in, defend and support the Solidarity Federation, the International Workers' Association, their Aims, Principles, Statutes and affiliates to the fullest extent of their ability;
- Follow and discuss fully issues facing the Solidarity Federation and the IWA in their Networks and Locals, and using the Internal Bulletin;
- Sell and contribute to Catalyst, Direct Action and other SF publications to the best of their ability, and pass on donations and sales to the Media Collective;
- Adhere to the conditions of affiliation.
All affiliates are accountable to the Solidarity Federation for their actions as individuals. This applies to members of Locals and Networks affiliated to the Solidarity Federation. Clear, deliberate, consistent or repeated breaches of the conditions of affiliation may lead to disaffiliation.
If any three or more SF members wish to form a new Local, the following 3-step procedure applies. First, the prospective Local should publicise details about the potential group in the IB, including how many members and prospective members it has, where they are based, and the industries they’re employed in (or if they’re students, unemployed, or retired). Second, once this has been done, they may request to be added to the website as a ‘Local in formation’. Finally, in order to become formally accepted as a new Local, they should subsequently submit a report on their activities and plans to the IB. They can then apply to be accepted at either a National Conference or a National Delegate Council (the activity report can be included with the application).
A Local is formed whenever there are three or more members in a defined geographical area, who should meet at least once a month. A new Local must be accepted at National Conference or National Delegate Council. This will occur at the start of conference, allowing new locals a full vote if accepted. All disputes between members in the area (including two “rival” Locals), will be resolved by National Conference agreement can not be reached locally. Locals must fulfil their obligations under Section 2a) above, but otherwise are expected to use their own initiative in pursuing their activities. However, where there is clear evidence of propaganda or practices contrary to the Aims, Principles and Constitution, this may lead to disaffiliation. Locals must elect their own Secretary and Treasurer, who should be mandated, accountable and subject to limited tenure of office on the same basis as National Officers. The Secretary is responsible for providing reports at least quarterly, written credentials and mandates to the Solidarity Federation. The Treasurer is responsible for paying subs to the Solidarity Federation, providing a quarterly list of members and issuing and updating Membership Cards to all members of the Local.
2c) Industrial Networks
Networks group together members of the Solidarity Federation who work in the same Industry. Networks must have at least three members. All Network members must also be members of a Local. Networks must be accepted by National Conference or National Delegate Council. Because of geographical spread, national meetings may be infrequent, but must be convened at least twice each year, to fit in with the internal democracy of the Solidarity Federation. Network propaganda may be supported by Solidarity Federation funds, according to the mandate of the National Treasurer. Network propaganda and activities must not be contrary to the Aims, Principles and Constitution. There are three general networks covering public sector, private sector and unwaged. Anyone not in another network is automatically a member of the one that fits their situation. These general networks mandate a person from each sector to act as coordinator for their particular network. Members who do not exactly fit one of these general networks, or their situation applies to more than one (eg, Third Sector workers or vocational students) should choose the network which best matches their situation.
2d) Isolated members
All SF members exercise their voting rights through their nearest Local. That Local must also ensure that all such members receive the Internal Bulletin and other relevant publications and is kept informed of SF activities throughout the year. At a minimum, the Local's Secretary must ensure that they are involved in decision-making processes, and the Local's Treasurer must collect their subs. In addition, the Local should make specific efforts to support those members who can not regularly attend meetings due to their distance from its area; by organising meetings and actions to suit them, and also by planning activities which will assist them to take steps to form their own Local, as far as possible. The National Secretary is to be informed by each local about their isolated members with a view to instigating the formation of new locals when there is a sufficient density of individual members in a given area.
Section 3: Decision-making
3a) National Conference
Federal decisions are made at the annual National Conference. The function of Conference is to facilitate the work of the Federation, and to share ideas and tactics, not to impose policies on Networks and Locals, which are autonomous, although they must abide by Conference decisions. Conference decides mandates for those commissioned by the Solidarity Federation to carry out duties on its behalf between Conferences, and elects Locals to carry them out. It also decides matters of principle and of a constitutional nature, including issues of affiliation, such as new Locals or Networks, and affiliated groups in arrears with their subs. Federal matters to be decided at Conference include:
- Questions of affiliation, and disputes between affiliated groups;
- Receiving the reports of, mandating and electing National Secretary, National Treasurer, Direct Action Collective, etc.;
- Organisational and constitutional issues;
- International business, including receiving the report of, mandating and electing the International Secretariat and delegates to the IWA Congress; discussion of international issues;
- Discussion and debate about issues facing the Solidarity Federation and its strategy;
- Allegations of propaganda and practices in contrary to the Aims, Principles and Constitution, and to the Principles, Aims and Statutes of the IWA.
National Conference decisions can only be changed by another National Conference All proposals for National Conference must be sent to the Internal Bulletin three months in advance (the 3rd Internal Bulletin before conference); all amendments must be sent to the Internal Bulletin two months in advance. It is the responsibility of Locals or Networks making proposals to circulate all relevant papers, documents, etc. two months in advance via the Internal Bulletin. It is the responsibility of Locals to fully discuss the issues and to properly mandate their delegates. It is the responsibility of the National Secretary to facilitate this process by highlighting issues which need resolution in their report to all national meetings, and to publicise the deadline for Conference proposals.
Discussion of current issues should take place all year round, to ensure the drafting and discussion of proposals on which delegates can be properly mandated.
Decisions should be made by seeking consensus in the first instance. However, where a vote needs to be taken a 2/3 majority is required for a motion or amendment to be carried. Abstentions are not counted. Voting is on the basis of one Local, one vote, but only Locals present at Conference can vote. Where the wording of resolutions needs to be amended at conference, unless an amendment is accepted by the proponents and notified to all Locals at least one month in advance of Conference, a delegate from each of the interested Locals will form a Conference Commission which will draft a final version. This draft will be circulated to the delegates of all Locals in time to be decided as the first item on the agenda of the final session of Conference.
All constitutional proposals must detail, in the motion, the wording that they propose to change or add in to the Constitution.
National Secretary should arrange for a confirmed conference date within 3 months of the expected conference date, to ensure the timetable for the submission of locals can be adhered to.
Where there is an urgent issue which requires decision, an Emergency National Conference, on that issue only, may be called by a minimum of three Locals and/or Networks. All relevant papers and documents must be supplied to the National Secretary with the request. Where a Local considers that its delegates have acted in breach of their mandates, they must inform the National Secretary within three months, and include details of the mandate. Where such actions have affected the outcome of a decision, the National Secretary must convene an Emergency National Conference on that issue. The National Secretary will then immediately arrange the meeting and give two months notice via the Internal Bulletin. It is permissible to hold an Emergency Conference, on the same basis as the International Conference.
3b) National Delegate Councils
The National Delegate Council reviews the decisions and mandates of the national organisation between National Conference and addresses any motions that Locals have submitted. National Delegate Council should not change decisions made at National Conference. It is to be convened at least twice a year in addition to National Conference and National Weekend School. As these are typically offset by 6 months, dates falling equally between these would be ideal unless this clashes with Regional meetings. It can be achieved by an online meeting. Delegates will be drawn one each from all Locals. National Delegate Councils will have all the same powers, rules and majority requirements of National Conference, save for the ability to amend the constitution. Measures requiring constitutional amendment may be provisionally adopted and a motion tabled for National Conference to ratify or reject the provisional decision. Motions are to be circulated in the IB one clear month before the delegate council. Due to the lack of amendment procedure, locals are encouraged to discuss motions with each other prior to proposing them.
Only delegates and those with National Mandates, as appropriate, should speak at National Conference, with the exception of Discussions which do not require a vote by delegates; or where an individual is required to contribute to a debate (e.g. to account for their conduct). While different individuals may be delegated to speak by their mandating body, they must speak as delegates of that body and not express individual opinions, except as indicated above. All delegates must be named by their mandating body, and should have written credentials and mandates. Delegates must adhere to their mandate and submit a written report detailing how they carried out their mandate, and points of immediate interest, to the next meeting of their mandating body. A Local should send up to 3 delegates to National Conference, and may have an unlimited number of observers. No individual should be mandated by more than one body (e.g. a Local and a Network). Credentials will be established by the National Treasurer, as will voting rights. Delegates from any Local in arrears with subs may speak and vote with the agreement of Conference. However, the onus is on the Local to demonstrate that it has genuinely made every effort to pay its subs. Requests for this must be included, with reasons, in a Local's report for Conference in the pre-Conference Internal Bulletin.
The National Secretary is responsible for the taking and circulation of minutes of National Conference. During each session of Conference, minutes will be taken by a named individual. The National Secretary will keep a record of which session's minutes were taken by which individual. Minutes must be an accurate record of any decisions taken, resolutions passed and mandates given. It is the responsibility of the Chair to clarify decisions, and to ensure that the meeting and the minute-taker understand the agreement reached. The minutes must also summarise accurately the main points of debate, but should not be a verbatim record. Record of Discussions should be fuller, and reflect all viewpoints expressed. Minutes will be circulated as a supplement with the Internal Bulletin within two months. All minutes of national meetings must include as standard:
- The agenda of the meeting broken down by session;
- The date, period and number of each session of the meeting and attendance;
- A record of chair and minute-taker for each session;
- An accurate record of mandates given;
- The final text of any resolutions carried alongside the record of debate and voting;
- A full record of discussions.
3e) IWA Congress
Conference also mandates and elects up to six delegates to the IWA Congress. One of these delegates should have attended the previous IWA Congress, and one should have attended the previous IWA Plenary, where possible. One delegate will also attend the next IWA Plenary, where possible. Two delegates should attend the full session of the Congress at all times, where possible, others may be needed to participate in Commissions at Congress. Where proposals have been put forward by the Solidarity Federation, one delegate should be assigned to lead on the proposal. The delegation should act collectively, rotating attendance at sessions where possible. The delegation will submit a report to the next Solidarity Federation Conference or National Delegate Council as appropriate. Delegates are accountable to the Solidarity Federation for their behaviour, and must adhere to their mandate.
3f) Regional Meetings
Regional meetings take place between National Conferences. Their format, focus and location is determined by the region.
Section 4: National mandates
4a) National Officers
National Conference will give mandates to Locals to carry out the administration of the Solidarity Federation, and to handle its external relations. The Local will name an individual who will be responsible for ensuring the tasks mandated are carried out. The Local will then support this individual, and name another if they should be unable to continue between Conferences. Mandates are given for a two year period, and will be reviewed fully at Conference, and administratively at each National Delegate Council. Failure to carry out, or breaches of, a mandate will lead to recall of the mandate by National Conference or National Delegate Council. If a National Officer's conduct has been challenged by any other member, Local or Network, or in the case of the International Secretary another Section of the IWA, they may seek the backing of National Conference or National Delegate Council through a vote of confidence. This should be included in their report. The National Officers are:
i) The National Secretary
The National Secretary is responsible for organising National Conference, the Weekend School and calling the National Delegate Council, and any extraordinary national events. This includes securing appropriate venues, giving six months' notice and publicising deadlines for proposals and agenda items. The dates and venue of Conference must be confirmed three months in advance; the agenda and proposals must be circulated to Locals and Networks two months in advance; reports, amendments and all relevant papers and documents must be circulated one month in advance. The date of the National Delegate Council must be confirmed two months in advance; the agenda, reports and all relevant papers and documents must be circulated one month in advance. The date of the Weekend School must also be confirmed two months in advance; the agenda, including speakers and topics, must be circulated one month in advance. Responsibility for organising national conference may be delegated to a named local, but overall responsibility for making sure it happens remains with the national secretary. The National Secretary is also responsible for compiling and circulating the Internal Bulletin on the 1st day of each month, but may commission a named individual to carry it out. The National Secretary will update, compile and circulate the Member's Handbook. The National Secretary is responsible for updating the Constitution, and publishing it, but may delegate this to a named individual.
ii) The External Relations Officer
The External Relations Officer is responsible for dealing with external contacts in England, Scotland and Wales. This includes compiling and maintaining contact lists and correspondence files in good order. The External Relations Officer will target and pursue contacts. Prospective members will be passed on to the National Treasurer. This also includes dealing with contact and requests from the media, both mainstream and radical, in line with SolFed policy. The External Relations Officer must pass on all new contacts to their respective Local and Network, as appropriate, and provide the latter with any introductory and educational materials they may need. The External Relations Officer will contact the relevant Local or Network to review the situation regularly. The External Relations Officer will maintain contact with relevant and sympathetic organisations in England, Scotland and Wales. This will involve circulating relevant publicity materials as required. The External Relations Officer should also make use of online sites, forums and social networking to publicise SolFed events and publications as appropriate.
iii) The National Treasurer
The National Treasurer is responsible for collecting and accounting for all subscriptions, donations, credit notes and pledges. This includes opening and administering a bank account, and circulating payment details to all members. The National Treasurer will produce a financial report each quarter, including a breakdown of subscriptions paid, and arrears. This information will be used to maintain membership records, and to issue membership cards annually, and as appropriate. The National Treasurer will correspond with Locals, Networks and members in arrears about their payments and membership situation. The National Treasurer will pay dues to the IWA quarterly, at the rate of $3 per member, and subsidise DA £100 per issue, reimburse DA for copies sent to enquirers at £1.50 per copy, and buy 30 copies of each DA for use by the External Relations Secretary. The National Treasurer will make payments as mandated at National Conference.
iv) The National Training Co-ordinator
The National Training Co-ordinator's role is to co-ordinate and develop a national syllabus of training on different topics useful to anarcho-syndicalist militants. The workshops are available to all members via the request of their Local or Network.
v) The Women’s Officer
The role of the Women’s Officer is to act as a point of contact for women within SolFed. This will include to act as a point of contact should a woman feel the culture of her local is disadvantaging her because of her gender. In these cases the National Women’s Officer will then arrange support from women in another local.
The Women’s officer helps ensure a buddy system is available for women members to support each other - pairing each female member with another to provide mutual support (inside the local where possible, with a member from another local when appropriate). The women’s officer will liaise with the National Training Officers to ensure training that promotes gender equality is available to all members. The women’s officer will act as liaison with other feminist and women’s groups where appropriate.
4b) International Secretariat
The International Secretariat is responsible for all international relations. National Conference will mandate a Local to carry out these duties for two years, to be reviewed at National Conference and Plenaries. The International Secretary will be a named individual, as will any other officers the mandated Local determines should take on specified tasks under the mandate. The International Secretary is responsible for:
- Maintaining contact with the IWA General Secretariat, and circulating all documents and minutes to the membership;
- Providing a written report, credentials and mandates for delegates to IWA Congress and Plenaries;
- Ensuring delegates attend IWA meetings, carry out their mandates and write reports;
- Sending proposals, agenda items and documents for circulation for IWA Congress to the General Secretariat six months in advance;
- Sending agenda items and documents for circulation for IWA Plenaries to the General Secretariat three months in advance;
- Organising an SF International Conference as required, to mandate delegates to the IWA Plenary, based on the agenda and documents for the latter, which will be circulated two months in advance;
- Translation of all documents to and from Spanish and English as appropriate;
- Translation to and from other languages as appropriate;
- Collection and payment of the annual affiliation subscriptions to the IWA General Secretariat;
- Accounting for and arranging payment of travel and publishing expenses incurred on international business.
- To circulate an activity report to the IWA at least twice-yearly.
Section 5: Publications
The National Secretary is responsible for compiling and updating a Handbook, and for circulating it to all new members. The Handbook will include the following information for members:
- The Aims, Principles and Constitution;
- Details of how the SF is organised;
Ideas on how to get a local set up.
5b) Media Collective
National Conference will mandate and elect a Media Collective of named individuals who will be responsible for editing and publishing Direct Action, Catalyst and the Solidarity Federation web site as the national organs of the Solidarity Federation. The format and frequency of publication will be determined by the mandate given by National Conference. The Media Collective will be accountable as a collective and as individuals for carrying out their mandate, and for the publication and contents of these publications, to National Conference and National Delegate Councils. The Media Collective will present a report to National Conference and National Delegate Councils. To ensure transparency, efficiency and some level of accountability, each member of the Media Collective will have an explicitly defined role within the Media Collective; there will also be working groups for each publication.
(i) Catalyst and Direct Action
The Media Collective is responsible for the following:
- Publishing Direct Action and Catalyst regularly, as frequently as mandated by National Conference;
- Commissioning, translating, and editing material for Direct Action and Catalyst;
- The distribution of Direct Action and Catalyst within and outside the Solidarity Federation;
- The prompt collection of money from sales from all vendors of Direct Action;
- The organisation and maintenance of systems of subscriptions and lists of subscribers;
- The soliciting and collection of donations, and the organisation of fund-raising with the aim of making Direct Action self-financing;
- The research and identification of potential sources of new readers; and the identification, research, and implementation of methods of promoting sales.
- Direct Action and Catalyst will include the following:
- Material which explains and promotes the Aims, Principles and activities of the Solidarity Federation and its affiliates, and of the IWA and its affiliates; and which encourages membership;
- Reports, analysis, commentary and reviews of current and historical events, issues and publications from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective;
- Material which promotes Direct Action and Catalyst, their past and forthcoming issues, and which solicits and encourages sales, contributions and financial support from their readers.
(ii) The Web Site
The Media Collective is responsible for publishing the Solidarity Federation web pages. New members should be able to apply to join the SF via its website. The site should be updated at least quarterly, should be easily accessible to anyone with a web browser, and should include as standard:
- The Aims, Principles and Constitution;
- A Directory of Locals and Networks, IWA General Secretariat, Sections and Friends;
- Selected material from Direct Action and Catalyst, both current and back issues;
- Current national strategy or external discussion documents, including “An outline of our ideas about organisation...”;
- Introductory materials produced by the Solidarity Federation, and its affiliates;
- An electronic enquiry form;
- Direct Action and Catalyst return forms;
- A button enabling the SF to receive donations into an electronic account.
5c) Approval of National Propaganda
Locals are free to produce material which is in line with Solidarity Federation’s politics and positions; all such material is to be circulated to all locals, e.g. via the internal bulletin; conflicts and disagreements about material produced in other locals could be taken to national conference or national delegate council.
This model works on the ‘trust first, deal with exceptions later. The Publicity Commission (elected at national conference as one local for a 2 year term) is responsible both for the production of national propaganda and for the adapting of local propaganda for use nationally.
Section 6: Internal Communications
6a) Internal Bulletin (IB)
The National Secretary will be responsible for compiling and circulating the Internal Bulletin each month. All discussion and debate contributions to the Internal Bulletin must be passed on by their Local or Network. Opinions of individuals, Networks or Locals may be expressed, but if the opinion is not that of the Local or Network this must be specified. There is a limit of three individual submissions per month with a word limit of 200 words for each. To facilitate discussion, submissions may be made via the website and be visible to members immediately, whilst also being compiled into the monthly IB.
The structure of the IB should include the following sections:
- A contents index with page numbers;
- Reports from locals, networks, national officers, collectives;
- Conference, NDC and weekend school agendas and minutes;
- Discussion documents from locals, networks, national officers, collectives;
- Discussion contributions from individual members;
- International notices and reports;
- Notices and calls, and Any other business ;
- Calendar with events and deadlines;
- List of contact points (mandated officers, collectives, local secretaries…).
All contributions must list the contributor, date, which Local, Network or individual it has been submitted by, and all those to whom it has been sent at the top. If no submissions are received for a given section, the section should simply read [no submissions], serving as a placeholder and reminder to members that the IB is the right place to look for such information.
6b) SF Calendar
The SF website includes a calendar of public and internal events. National events (including deadlines for conference submissions) should be submitted to the website by the national secretary (but may be delegated), while other events will be added by locals and networks. The Media Collective will add submission deadlines and publication dates for our publications. The upcoming events from the calendar will be included in the IB.
6c) Informal channels of communication
SF members communicate amongst themselves by a number of informal means. Participation in these is optional, voluntary, informal, and has no relevance for decision making. Members have full rights of free association and discussion, but any matters arising requiring decision making or effecting the federation or its parts should go through the formal channels (Locals, Networks and the IB). SF provides the following informal channels for its members to peruse:
i) The national discussion email list. All members may post, and all subscribers receive all messages to the list.
ii) The internal forums. All SF members are entitled to a login for the national website, which amongst other things grants access to the internal forums. Locals, Networks and Collectives/Commissions may choose to have their own forums if they wish.
iii) The national announce-list. Only mandated officers of the national federation or Locals and Industrial Networks may post to this list. It is intended to facilitate urgent announcements and appeals for solidarity.
We define a full time trade union official as one who is employed by the union and accountable to the union bureaucracy rather than the rank and file. In addition we would include anyone who has the ability within the union structure to control access to resources and backing. This does not include workers on facility time, especially where they are recallable by the union members. Any union position attracting facility time may well have its own problems, but these should be examined on a case by case basis, should someone wish to join.