CEDRA (Centre for social research) is an independent research collective, focused on research, education and active participation in the development and progress of workers’ movement. We conduct research and organizational work with individual workers, workers’ collectives and established trade unions. We promote the practices and the know-how that can contribute to the rebuilding of the workers’ movement and can help workers defend the existing rights as well as equip them for future struggles against capitalist exploitation. Our approach is based on combination of methods developed by workerism (notably co-research) and organizing model of trade-unionism.
The theoretical and analytical part of our work includes studying the history of the workers’ movements, analysis of contemporary capitalist development and investigation of changes in labour process. We examine various past strategies pursued by the labour movements as well as on the existing forms of trade union organizing which have considerably changed in the new social circumstances – for the worse; this has resulted in the crisis of workers’ organizing. The goal is to find potential solutions for building a stronger labour movement.
In practice, we examine concrete situations that workers face at their workplaces, their relationships within a company, conflicts, expressions of solidarity and collective problem solving, as well as trade union organizing on all three elementary levels – state, sector and shop-floor.
We are convinced that the main challenge the trade-union movement is facing is the increased rate of precarious forms of employment. Precarious workforce presents significant problem for collective organizing due to the atomization and the separation of the workers, which leads to sharp competition in the labour market and in the workplace. Therefore organizing the unorganized and overcoming the divide between the centre (fully employed) and the periphery (precarious workers) of the workforce are the two key challenges to the rebuilding of workers’ organizations.
Education is a foundation of every workers’ struggle. It enables workers to understand broader processes in the company, in the state and also in their local community. Through education, workers become better equipped for comprehending these processes and empowered to, in turn, collectively influence them.
By organizing discussions, lectures and workshops, we strive to develop new strategies, possibilities to build solidarity among different forms of work, and understanding of the limitations of capitalism. These educational activities are intended for workers, trade unionists, activists and others who want to learn more about key methods for activation of workers’ struggle.
Members of the CEDRA research committee have published papers in academic journals, and we regularly publish analyses of class struggles and specially workers’ organising in Slovenia. We also publish translations of important contributions on the state of contemporary workers’ struggles.
Our research, educational and theoretical activities are intrinsically connected to our organisational project that aims to build active workers’ organisations and working class solidarity.
Currently we are engaged in activites within metal and elector industry, which is the most strategic part of Slovenian economy. Our second major committment is a research project in supermarket retail sector. Third major project is focused on public sector employees, especially those in education. We have established working ties with major trade unions in this sectors (education; metal and electro industry) which are the largest sectoral trade unions in Slovenia. We are also cooperating with other progressive unions, NGOs and other actors in Slovenia.
CEDRA (Centre for social research)