Union organising

How to organise young workers

Supersize my pay

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.

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

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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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Security guards at University of London strike for security and wage rise

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Security guards at the central University of London site in Bloomsbury took a third day of strike action against the university and contractor Cordant on 16 May, following two last month. They want an end to disguised use of zero-hours contracts, itemised pay slips and a pay rise they were promised six years ago when UoL’s outsourced workers first won the Living Wage.

The Independent Workers of Great Britain union is continuing to put the leaderships of the big unions to shame by pushing hard for the demands of workers where it organises, despite daunting circumstances.

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McDonald’s scraps zero-hour contracts: next stop, £10 an hour and a union!

Fast food giant McDonald’s recently announced it will scrap zero-hours contracts for its workers in the UK. Solidarity spoke to Gareth Lane, an organiser for the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), about this move, and his union’s ongoing efforts to organise fast food workers.

An organiser for the Bakers, Food, and Allied Workers Union spoke to us about the union’s ongoing efforts to organise fast food workers.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Ollie Moore

On Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 April, National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) members at Forest Hill school in Lewisham struck for the fifth time in their on-going dispute against a management proposed restructuring to deal with a £1.3 million deficit. The management’s proposal sheds 15 teaching jobs, significantly increases teachers’ workload, radically reduces the depth of the creative aspects of the curriculum, ends any specialist English as an Additional Language (EAL) support, and massively diminishes the support for students with Special Educational Needs.

Forest Hill teachers strike; cinema workers to strike on May Day; Tube round-up; NUT: close vote on Labour; DOO strikes continue; UCLU cleaners strike.

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Letter: Courts not answer to undemocratic unions

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Anyone who has had to confront the bureaucratic officialdom of any trade union will have some sympathy with the GMB activist who wrote in Solidarity of "unelected, barely elected and crookedly elected bureaucrats".

Their letter promotes the new "GMB Grassroots Left" network; prominently involved is Keith Henderson, a former GMB official who has twice taken his former union, and employer to court.

The bosses' courts are not any kind of instrument for reforming the labour movement.

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What is the “social strike”?

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Recent strikes by “gig economy” workers (e.g. Deliveroo) are profoundly significant. They explode the myth, peddled by some on both left and right, that so-called precarious workers can’t organise, and that the proliferation of those types of work is in the process of rendering labour organising historically redundant.

A fetishisation of novelty can sometimes blind us to the fact that what’s required is not “new kinds of strike action”, or new forms of organisation, but rather a rediscovery and relearning of old lessons, ideas, and strategies, now forgotten or lost.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Workers at Picturehouse Cinema’s flagship “Picturehouse Central” location, near London’s Piccadilly Circus, will shortly begin balloting for new strikes, as part of a growing dispute which also involves workers at Picturehouse’s Brixton, Hackney, and Crouch End sites. The ballot, the timetable for which has yet to be announced, is for further strikes to demand the London Living Wage, decent sick pay, and other improvements to workers’ terms and conditions.

More cinemas to join strike; “Second-tier” cabin crew fight back; Durham TAs keep close eye on negotiations; Harrods: pass on tips!; Fujitsu workers strike again; publisher derecognises unions; Merseyside bus drivers strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter and Gemma Short

Station staff on London Underground are balloting for strikes, and industrial action short of strikes, against job cuts.

The ballot begins on 1 November and closes a fortnight later. Both the RMT and TSSA unions are balloting their members. London Underground’s “Fit for the Future” restructure programme on stations has seen nearly 1,000 jobs axed and thousands of workers forcibly regraded and displaced.

Strikes ahead on Tube; Ritzy workers give bosses a fright; Durham teaching assistants plan strikes; Southern workers protest at Parliament; IDS not a friend of workers or claimants; Post Office strike; Uber loses in court.

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Cinema strikes spread

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton struck again on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 October. They were joined on Saturday 15 by workers at Hackney Picturehouse on strike for the first time. A front-of-house assistant at Hackney PictureHouse spoke to Solidarity.

Workers at the Ritzy Picturehouse cinema in Brixton struck again on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 October. They were joined on Saturday 15 by workers at Hackney Picturehouse on strike for the first time.

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