Union organising

How to organise young workers

Published on: Fri, 11/01/2008 - 16:44
Author

Editorial

One of the most visible impacts of capitalist globalisation has been the massive expansion of low-paid (and often semi-casual) jobs in the service sector.

This “precarious” employment — in bars, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, fast-food chains, supermarkets, high-street retailers, call centres and elsewhere — means long hours, barely-legal wages and unsafe working conditions. Young people fill these jobs.

According to a recent TUC survey, workers between the ages of 16-24 make up nearly a third of the total workforce in hotels and restaurants in the UK (migrant workers and women of all ages

Workers' Liberty 3/3: Factory bulletins in the 1920s and today

Published on: Fri, 31/03/2006 - 18:13

Workers' Liberty 3/3 (March 2006) reproduces many communist factory bulletins from the 1920s, and discussion from that era about how they should be produced. "Workers cannot write newspapers? Really? Just tell us some news about your factory". It also includes information on workplace bulletins produced by the AWL. Click here to download pdf.

Lively pickets at FCO

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 08:55
Author

John Moloney

The strike at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is rock solid. The strike will continue through to the end of February over our demand for union recognition.

There have been lively pickets every day, and we’ve had good support from those from other unions. The strike has become a significant feature on the labour movement map of London. Strikers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office also attended the “Trade Union Bloc” on the 14 February youth climate strike, which was organised by our branch at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Interserve, the outsourced

The potentialities of Acorn

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:51
Author

Dan Rawnsley

Since the general election, the "community union" Acorn has been growing.

On 22 December the Guardian reported on Acorn’s “glut of applications” after the 13 December exit poll. Acorn UK national organiser Nick Ballard was quoted saying “We’ve had hundreds of new members join.”

Acorn has branches in Bristol, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, and Brighton, and is best known as a renters’ union. The organisation has been able to turn out pickets of a hundred people to block evictions and has pressured Santander, TSB and NatWest to get rid of rent increase and “no DSS” clauses in buy-to-let

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:13
Author

Hugh Workman, Ollie Moore, Ed Whitby, Daniel Randall and David Pendletone

Sixth form colleges strike

The NEU’s (National Education Union’s) last strike day in sixth form colleges over funding and pay was 20 November last year. The next is 12 February.

In December the union executive and many NEU activists were, I think, hoping that an imminent Labour government would resolve the dispute in our favour.

The reason for the delay being around a month after most colleges came back is to build up momentum again after the election and Xmas break.

The upcoming three days (12 and 27 Feb, 10 March) are within the six month “shelf-life” of the first ballot, but at the same

What France teaches us

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 11:40
Author

Rachael Baylis

My decision to go on the delegation to France organised by AWL on 25-26 January had its roots in what happened on 12 December.

As a Labour activist and socialist for two years, I had a flame of hope that a left-wing government could triumph. As we all know, it didn’t. Facing an 80-seat Tory majority which will destroy communities, workers rights and environmental protections the question became — what next?

The possibility for resistance still exists and always will, so when I saw the opportunity to go and learn from the French strikes in Paris, I jumped. The only way we can resist the

FCO strike

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 09:05
Author

John Moloney

Our outsourced worker members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office started a month-long strike on Monday 3 February.

There’ll be picket lines every day of that strike, which was a specific decision that the strikers themselves made. That’s not about engaging in some sort of PR exercise, it’s about the strikers understanding that effective strike action needs visible and effective picketing.

We’re appealing to the wider labour movement to actively support those picket lines and attend with flags and banners.

We’ve had good support so far, with John McDonnell and others visiting the picket

FCO dispute renewed

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 08:53
Author

John Moloney

Our members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who are employed by Interserve, are striking for a month, throughout February.

This is an ongoing dispute; the workers are striking to win living wages, union recognition, and greater equality. Ultimately the demand is for direct employment, they should be employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on civil service terms and conditions.

We want to build maximum support for the strike. There will be picket lines every day, and we’re trying to persuade the TUC to launch the “I Heart Unions” month, which runs throughout February, from the

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 08:33
Author

Ollie Moore and Darren Bedford

Although the action is yet to be announced, the next round of the university and college union (UCU) dispute appears set for the second half of February.

Where strike ballots exist, they are either related to action defending the USS pension scheme, or over casualisation, pay, workloads and equalities (the “four fights”), however in most universities live ballots exist for both disputes simultaneously. A further 37 branches are currently being re-balloted, which alongside the live 98, would significantly enhance the strike’s impact, which in November and December saw thousands of UCU members

Tackling the union bureaucracies

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:22
Author

Bob Carnegie

Trade union organisation has always tended to centre in the better-off sections of the working class. But that tendency has been sharpened in the neoliberal era by increased inequality within the working class, and union organisation receding into more limited “bastions”.

In Australia — and in general — trade unions have been able to hold on to a degree in some strongholds, but in my working life, 45 years now, the influence of trade unions in society has markedly decreased.

Unions have become much more bureaucratic.

Most union leaders put the trends down to the anti-union laws which have been

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