Union organising

How to organise young workers

Supersize my pay

Author: 

Editorial
Lessons from New Zealand, France, and the USA about how to organise young workers in the fast-food and similar industries.

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.

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

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.

How to take revolutionary politics into the workplace.

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The shaming of Sports Direct boss

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

Mike Ashley, the Chief Executive of Sports Direct, has admitted to paying workers less than minimum wage. The admission came while he was being questioned by MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills House of Commons select committee.

He recognised that for a ″specific time″ workers were effectively paid less than minimum wage due to the practice of keeping workers after their shift to be searched before they were allowed to leave.
He is now saying he will pay back pay to those workers effected.

Mike Ashley, the Chief Executive of Sports Direct, has admitted to paying workers less than minimum wage.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Kelly Rogers, Dale Street, Darren Bedford, Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

On Saturday 14 May the BMA held a junior doctors′ conference, followed by a meeting of the junior doctors′ committee on the next day. It was hoped that these meetings would have heard the outcome of renewed negotiations held between the government and the BMA between 9-13 May. However a last minute agreement (brokered by Brendan Barber of all people!) to extend the talks for another week meant that junior doctors did not get a chance to give judgement on any proposed deal.

Junior doctors; BECTU votes for right-wing merger; school janitors step up strike; Topshop cleaners protest across country; strikes in Sheffield against job losses and pay cuts; Southern strikes continue.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Will Stevens, Ruth Cashman, Ollie Moore, Simon Nelson and Cath Fletcher

Thursday 14 April was the third annual #FastFoodGlobal day Of action. Workers in fast food, coffee shops and cafes across the world took part in rallies, stunts, marches and other creative actions for higher pay, better conditions and the right of unions to organise.

Fighting for fast food rights; Lambeth councillor speaks out on libraries; Tube workers striking against gentrification; thousands march to save NHS; university pay ballot.

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Class not nation

The Maritime Union of Australia has launched a campaign about employment in coastal shipping following the removal of the Australian crew from MV Portland. Bob Carnegie, Secretary of
Queensland MUA, has written to the national MUA about the presentation of the campaign.

The Maritime Union of Australia has launched a campaign about employment in coastal shipping following the removal of the Australian crew from MV Portland. Bob Carnegie, Secretary of Queensland MUA, has written to the national MUA about the presentation of the campaign.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Ollie Moore, Ben Tausz, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Lancashire County Council is on the verge of making sweeping cuts.

The cuts include over 2,500 job losses (compulsory and voluntary). Around 40 of the 75 libraries in Lancashire will close, as will 5 out of the 10 council run museums, all subsidised bus routes, and numerous other front line services will be cut.

Lancashire and Lambeth library workers fight cuts; teachers fighting for respect; Tube offer falls short; fighting casualisation in higher education; Open University strike; Enfield parking strike.

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Growing up in the age of austerity

Author: 

Kelly Rogers

Putting my finger on exactly when or how I became a socialist is far from easy.

I grew up in a working class family. My dad was a printer, and he worked long weeks at the printing press, for many years rotating between day-shifts, late-shifts and night-shifts. He hated his job.

As I got older, I began to pay more attention and realised quite how exhausting and onerous the work he did was. When he was made redundant I was in my late teens, and was very aware that losing his sense of security and purpose was hugely damaging to his self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

Putting my finger on exactly when or how I became a socialist is far from easy.

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Rebuild socialist infrastructure!

Author: 

Edd Mustill

It was interesting to read the latest in the exchange between Daniel Randall and John Cunningham (Solidarity 367).

Over the last few years it has often seemed to me that exhortations to rethink our fundamental ideas have come from many quarters and not resulted in much. They are in a similar vein to the person who sits in the campaign planning meeting saying “we need to be more creative,” but when you drill down into what they actually mean it doesn’t go much further than “have a Twitter” or “sit in a shop for a bit.”

There is a real historical crisis of political social democracy which is occurring due to the reconfiguration of the labour market, the death of manufacturing jobs and all the rest of it. The irony is that the trade unions will probably, in the long run, ride this out much more successfully than the Labour Party will. Of course our call centres and warehouses are not post-industrial in any sense, as workplaces.

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US docks: automation versus union power

Author: 

Barry Docherty

Members of the American International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have just agreed a five-year deal with the employers federation, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The deal covers 20,000 dockworkers at twenty-nine US west coast ports.

The nine-month-long war of attrition by the PMA which preceded the deal was the latest stage in an employers’ offensive against US dockers stretching back to the early 1960s. Before then, working conditions on the docks had been dictated by the ILWU’s victory in the 1934 US West Coast dockers strike.

Members of the American International Longshore and Warehouse Union have agreed a five-year deal with the employers federation, the Pacific Maritime Association. The deal covers 20,000 dockworkers at twenty-nine US West Coast ports.

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