Union organising

How to organise young workers

Supersize my pay

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Workers of the World, Awaken!

Join the union, fellow workers, /Men and women, side by side;/  We will crush the greedy shirkers/ Like a sweeping, surging tide; 

Workers of the world, awaken! 
Break your chains. demand your rights. 
All the wealth you make is taken 
By exploiting parasites. 
Shall you kneel in deep submission 

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Workers of the World, Awaken!

Join the union, fellow workers, /Men and women, side by side;/  We will crush the greedy shirkers/ Like a sweeping, surging tide; 

Workers of the world, awaken! 
Break your chains. demand your rights. 
All the wealth you make is taken 
By exploiting parasites. 
Shall you kneel in deep submission 

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How the “organising model” went global

On 29 March 2014, Workers’ Liberty, the University of London branch of the Independent Workers’ union of Great Britain (IWGB), Ruskin College UCU, PCS Independent Left, and Lambeth Activists will host the “New Unionism 2014” conference at the University of London Union.

An abridged version of an article which appeared in Labor Notes 409 in April 2013 discussing the origins and critiques of “the organising model”.

Around the world: 

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Cleaning workers celebrate International Women's Day

Around fifty cleaning workers, their families, and their supporters marched through Kingston, south-west London, on International Working Women’s Day (8 March), with red flags flying.

Around fifty cleaning workers, their families and their supporters marched through south-west London on International Working Women’s Day.

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Rebuilding working-class power

The “New Unionism” of the 1880s saw hundreds of thousands of unskilled and semi-skilled workers, many of them migrants, and prominently including groups of women workers like the Bryant & May match workers, launch mass organising drives that shook up the old labour movement.

Their struggles challenged the orthodoxy of the existing unions and confronted conservative attitudes about whether such workers could, in fact, organise. The struggles of that period, and the “Great Unrest” which followed early in the 20th century, paved the way for the modern labour movement.

On 29 March 2014, working-class activists will gather for a conference that both looks at the history of “New Unionism” and discusses what new approaches are necessary to reinvigorate and rebuild labour power today.

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