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.

Publications: 

Trade Unions: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

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.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

The wrong “organising model”

Author: 

Bob Carnegie

In my last article I wrote about the horrors of contracting-out of civilian work on Australian defence bases, and the drive to force down the wages and conditions of the workers.

Similar processes are at work everywhere else, be it the private or the public sector.

Many Australian trade unions are heavily influenced by the SEIU “organising model” from the USA.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Care UK and Ritzy Cinemas: staying strong against low pay

On Friday 10 October Care UK workers will be striking for the 81st day in their campaign for a Living Wage. Stewards David Honeybone and Diane Marsden spoke to Solidarity.

What led to you taking industrial action?

Interviews with trade unionists fighting for a living wage at Care UK and Ritzy Cinemas.

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Prospects and the “decisive element”

Extracts from a document to be discussed at the AWL’s annual conference on 25-26 October.

On average workers' real wages fell 8.2% between 2008 and 2013. The median (middling) worker lost £2000 a year. But for many workers it has been much worse.

For the 18-25 age range, the average drop was 14%; for 25- 29, it was 12%. Public sector wages have fallen by 15%.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Money for war, but not for those who clean up

Author: 

Bob Carnegie

In the mid 1990s, Paul Keating's Labor government in Australia decided to outsource work on defence bases to private contractors. This work was overseen by that great excuse for a conservative in hiding, the leader of the Victorian right wing of the Australian Labor Party, Senator Robert Ray.

In the last 30 years or so, union density has collapsed from 53% of the Australian workforce in 1982 to 17% in 2014. This collapse in union membership is reflected in the collapse in working conditions and pay for civilian workers employed on defence bases in Australia.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

US fast food workers' struggle escalates

Author: 

Daniel Lemberger Cooper

On 4 September, thousands of fast food workers and other service industry employees (including home healthcare workers), backed by both the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), held strikes and protests in cities in California, Missouri, Wisconsin, New York, and elsewhere in the United States, for respect, improved benefits, the right to organise, and for a $15 minimum wage. Hundreds of workers and supporters were arrested.

On 4 September, thousands of fast food workers and other service industry employees (including home healthcare workers), backed by both the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), held strikes and protests in cities in California, Missouri, Wisconsin, New York, and elsewhere in the United States, for respect, improved benefits, the right to organise, and for a $15 minimum wage. Hundreds of workers and supporters were arrested.

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

How to turn around low turnouts: unions must fight!

After just a single day's strike over pay by workers local government, education, and the civil service, the press and the Tories are on the offensive against unions, highlighting the low turnouts in ballots, and pushing for new anti-union legislation.

A union strategy for actively fighting the attacks we face can rebuild workers' confidence.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Narks, Provocateurs and Avuncular Policemen (1996)

POLICE spying, infiltration and manipulation of opponents of the Establishment is older than Guy Fawkes, whose celebrated early 17th Century "Gunpowder Plot" to blow up the Houses of Parliament was in part manufactured and manipulated for their own ends by state agents. The latest example is the case of former police constable, Janet Lovelace.

POLICE spying, infiltration and manipulation of opponents of the Establishment is older than Guy Fawkes...some of my own experiences in such matters.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Social media is here to stay

We continue a debate on the impact of the internet, and particularly Facebook, on political organisation and activism.

The replies to my article in Solidarity from Jodi Dean (318), Martin Thomas (319) and James Doran (320) centre around questions of the impact of the internet, and particularly Facebook, on political organisation and activism.

I agree with Jodi and Martin that the internet does not replace older forms of organising, both in terms of on-the-ground union and political organising, and in terms of organisational forms such as the union and party.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Pages