direct action

(redirected from Direct actions)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

direct action,

theory and methods used by certain labor groups to fight employers, capitalist institutions, and the state by direct economic action, without using intermediate organizations. Political measures, such as arbitration, collective bargaining, and trade agreements, are rejected as ineffective. According to the theory, workers, acting as a class, are in a position to exert pressure on capitalist institutions to secure rights. Such measures as the strikestrike,
concentrated work stoppage by a group of employees, the chief weapon of organized labor. A suspension of work on the employer's part is called a lockout. Strikes usually result from conflicts of interest between the employer, who seeks to reduce costs, and employees, who
..... Click the link for more information.
, the general strikegeneral strike,
sympathetic cessation of work by a majority of the workers in all industries of a locality or nation. Such a stoppage is economic if it is for the purpose of redressing some grievance or pressing upon the employer a series of economic demands.
..... Click the link for more information.
, the boycottboycott,
concerted economic or social ostracism of an individual, group, or nation to express disapproval or coerce change. The practice was named (1880) after Capt. Charles Cunningham Boycott, an English land agent in Ireland whose ruthlessness in evicting tenants led his
..... Click the link for more information.
, and sabotagesabotage
[Fr., sabot=wooden shoe; hence, to work clumsily], form of direct action by workers against employers through obstruction of work and/or lowering of plant efficiency. Methods range from peaceful slowing of production to destruction of property.
..... Click the link for more information.
—frequently accompanied by physical violence—are the preferred methods for labor disputes; propagandapropaganda,
systematic manipulation of public opinion, generally by the use of symbols such as flags, monuments, oratory, and publications. Modern propaganda is distinguished from other forms of communication in that it is consciously and deliberately used to influence group
..... Click the link for more information.
 and agitation are employed against the government. The specific reforms gained are seen as steps toward the ultimate revolution and toward abolition of capitalism. The theory was developed with the rise of the labor movement in the 19th cent. and was formulated as a definite policy in the early 20th cent. by anti-Marxist radical groups, notably proponents of syndicalismsyndicalism
, political and economic doctrine that advocates control of the means and processes of production by organized bodies of workers. Like anarchists, syndicalists believe that any form of state is an instrument of oppression and that the state should be abolished.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The method was used in France and spread to other European countries. In the United States the Industrial Workers of the WorldIndustrial Workers of the World
(IWW), revolutionary industrial union organized in Chicago in 1905 by delegates from the Western Federation of Mines, which formed the nucleus of the IWW, and 42 other labor organizations.
..... Click the link for more information.
 advocated it.


See W. Mellor, Direct Action (1920); L. L. Lorwin, Labor and Internationalism (1929).

References in periodicals archive ?
So mediation provisions in LLC operating agreements, valuable as they may be, should always be accompanied either by provisions for derivative or direct actions, as discussed above, or by arbitration provisions.
The court held that Cushing required that the direct actions against the insurers of the shipowner await the limitation proceeding in this multiple-party, inadequate limitation fund case.
If the insurers refuse to enter into the stipulation, since the Limitation Act does not refer to insurers or officers, the direct actions against them and the officers should be allowed to proceed, subject to the caveat that no execution on judgments out of insurance available to the shipowner could be had.
In June 2002, Travelers filed a motion asking the bankruptcy court to prohibit the ever-growing number of direct action lawsuits that sought to reopen the 1986 orders.
In November 2003, as the number of cases on file increased, three distinct settlement agreements with plaintiffs emerged as a result of the mediation between the parties and Travelers: an agreement asserting statutory direct action claims; an agreement asserting common law direct action claims; and an agreement asserting direct action claims under the laws of Hawaii.
When the Government will not listen to the people we have to move on to direct action.
Questions remain regarding the approach and tenor of direct actions in a terror-stunned country, but one certainty organizers agree upon is that the protests will eventually continue.
Folks who practice direct action are going to have to be savvier than they've ever been," says John Sellers, executive director of the Ruckus Society.
Along with media savvy, the seminars teach campers principles of non-violence, confrontation de-escalation tactics, action scouting and planning, blockade methods, political theater, action support, and the expected legal ramifications of direct action.
Both settlements were subject to final court approval and were conditioned on the Court entering an order clarifying that these direct actions and any similar actions that may be filed in the future are barred by the prior injunction and orders entered in connection with the Johns-Manville bankruptcy proceedings.
If the court approves both settlements, all pending and similar future asbestos-related statutory direct actions and substantially all pending and similar future asbestos-related common law direct actions against Travelers will be resolved.
It is also conditioned on entry of final orders by the court approving these settlements and barring all future asbestos-related statutory direct actions against Travelers in West Virginia, Massachusetts, Hawaii and other states in which, Travelers believes, plaintiffs may argue that similar claims are recognized by state law.