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: 

Three decades of organising

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Veteran Australian trade union activist and Workers’ Liberty member Bob Carnegie has been speaking to meetings around the UK about his organising experiences over three decades.

Starting the tour on Tuesday 12 May Bob spoke to a meeting of Lambeth Left Unity, alongside an activist from the Ritzy Cinema workers campaign. On Wednesday 13 May Bob spoke at the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) conference with Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group. The FBU may have been subject to blacklisting practices and a police cover-up.

Veteran Australian trade union activist and Workers’ Liberty member Bob Carnegie has been speaking to meetings around the UK about his organising experiences over three decades.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

How New Zealand workers took on the fast food companies, and won

Author: 

Mike Treen, National Director (Unite New Zealand)

This article is republished, with permission, from the Unite website here.


Workers in the fast food industry in New Zealand scored a spectacular victory over what has been dubbed “zero hour contracts” during a collective agreement bargaining round over the course of March and April this year.

A campaign led by workers in the Unite union in New Zealand has defeated zero-hours contracts at several fast food chains. Mike Treen, National Director of Unite, tells the story of the campaign.

Trade Unions: 

Around the world: 

Bob Carnegie tour of England, May 2015

Author: 

Gemma Short

Bob Carnegie, who has been at the heart of every major workers' struggle in Brisbane, Australia, for more than three decades, is coming to the UK to talk about his experiences and lessons for organising workers. Read more at the tour blog.

Bob Carnegie is coming to the UK to talk about his experiences and lessons for organising workers.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Around the world: 

Not defeatist, realistic

Author: 

Len Glover

Andy Forse (Solidarity 357) accuses me of “defeatism” in his reply to my criticism of his article “Why I’m not voting Green” (Solidarity 356). Personally, I would prefer Gramsci’s oft-quoted “Optimism of the will, pessimism of the intelligence”.

Labour and the union link.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens and Gemma Short

Pat Hutton, GMB rep at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where workers have been on strike to win the same terms and conditions as in-house workers, spoke to Solidarity.

"Since our last strikes at Christmas, GMB has been going round hospitals where they recruited scabs — in Liverpool, Coventry, Westminster, Chelsea, Kingston — organising to stop it.

A lot of the scabs were casuals and didn’t know what was going on. With the help of GMB in those places we put a stop to it.

Cleaners ballot on pay offer; National Gallery strikes continue; Essex FBU extend strike to nine days; defend all jobs on the Tube; no Academies in Lewisham; 80% of jobs to be outsourced in Barnet.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

London bus drivers will strike again for 24 hours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 February in their dispute to level-up pay between bus companies.

This follows a 24 hour strike on Thursday 5 February, and one on Tuesday 13 January. Solidarity visited several picket lines which were lively, confident and staffed throughout the day despite propaganda from Transport for London (TfL) claiming high numbers of services were still running.

London bus strikes; National Gallery sacks union rep; ICO workers' pay strike; cleaners picket BAFTA awards; Tube drivers vote to strike.

Publications: 

Trade Unions: 

New Zealand fast food workers fight zero-hours contracts

Author: 

Mike Treen

Mike Treen, National Director of Unite New Zealand (a union organising workers in fast food restaurants, cinemas, and other workplaces) reports on recent and upcoming struggles for their members.

This article first appeared on The Daily Blog. The original can be read here.

Fast food and cinema workers in New Zealand are preparing new struggles over pay, contracts, and conditions.

Trade Unions: 

Around the world: 

Back to basics in the unions!

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

The most explosive and inspiring flashes of class struggle in Britain in the three years since the defeat of the public sector pensions dispute have not been national-level pitched battles between large employers and/or the government, and one or several big unions, but local-scale struggles, usually over pay.

Outsourced cleaners at the University of London and SOAS have won significant victories, bringing the workers nearer to parity with their directly employed colleagues’ sick pay, holiday entitlement, and pension arrangements.

How can revolutionary socialists in the labour movement help workplace struggles, spread them, catalyse new ones, give them a political perspective?

Publications: 

Trade Unions: 

Pages