Socialist Industrial Unions

Craft, or trade, unions represent a single craft or trade. In contrast, industrial unions represent all workers in a specific industry, or with a specific employer. Socialist Industrial Unions (SIUs) are industrial unions, representing entire industries, with the stated aim of creating a socialist society.

SIU supporters claim that it is necessary to seize the means of production directly: to occupy the places of production. SIU members and supporters, even within a single organization, have varying opinions on the feasibility and desirability of the parliamentary approach (taking power through democratic elections).

Whether or not the parliamentary route is to be taken, SIU supporters hold that the SIU structure will be the administrative structure of socialism. Recently some have started taking the position that it is just a suggestion of how society might be administered, but it still figures prominently in their current literature.

This structure is hierarchical, with the basic unit being the workplace council where decisions for that specific workplace are democratically made. The next level might be regional, then "national", and finally a council for the whole of society.

Relatively recently, some SIU supporters have seen the need to add some sort of "community" representation, using a similar structure and "joining" with the workplace side in a single council for the whole of society. There are probably several different approaches to the exact setup of this structure but there does not seem to be any significant disagreements, just slight differences.

Although hierarchical, the structure is seen as bottom up, not top down. In other words the "whole of society" council would coordinate the decisions of the other councils, not impose its own will.

What's wrong with the SIU approach?