Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Alcan Proves Marx Right

Alcan is proving Dr. Marx right, again.

Alcan plans to expand Kitimat smelter
Job loss expected with technology $1.8 billion plan
Alcan Inc. said yesterday it will boost its annual global primary aluminum production by more than 4 per cent through a $1.8 billion modernization of its smelter in northern British Columbia.In its news release, the company said it plans to use "the latest evolution of smelting technology within the AP35 series," and said production costs would be in lowest quartile for the industry.While not immediately available for comment, CAW Local 2301 has previously described the expected expansion as a good news/bad news story."The good news is that bringing in new technology is a positive move to insure longevity in jobs for the future," the union said in a July bulletin on its website. "On the other hand, new technology brings with it a less labour-intensive process," which will hurt jobs, the union noted.

Machinery and surplus labour. Recapitulation of the doctrine of surplus value generally
The tendency of capital is, of course, to link up absolute with relative surplus value; hence greatest stretching of the working day with greatest number of simultaneous working days, together with reduction of necessary labour time to the minimum, on one side, and of the number of necessary workers to the minimum, on the other. This contradictory requirement, whose development will show itself in different forms as overproduction, over-population etc., asserts itself in the form of a process in which the contradictory aspects follow closely upon each other in time. A necessary consequence of them is the greatest possible diversification of the use value of labour—or of the branches of production—so that the production of capital constantly and necessarily creates, on one side, the development of the intensity of the productive power of labour, on the other side, the unlimited diversity of the branches of labour, i.e. thus the most universal wealth, in form and content, of production, bringing all sides of nature under its domination.

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