Union organising

How to organise young workers

Submitted by martin on 11 January, 2008 - 4:44 Author: Editorial
Supersize my pay

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.

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

Submitted by AWL on 31 March, 2006 - 6:13

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.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 1:29 Author: Jim Denham, Gemma Short, Dale Street and Peggy Carter

After twelve weeks of strikes, Unite members have agreed a deal to settle a long-running dispute over changes to waste management services in Birmingham. On balance, this has to be considered a victory for the workers. The Labour council have agreed to withdraw proposed redundancies in exchange for giving the affected workers new job titles and duties.

How “slow burn” worked for the CWU

Submitted by Matthew on 15 November, 2017 - 12:32 Author: Gregor Gall
CWU logo

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in the Royal Mail ballot has set the gold standard for all other major unions in the UK. It was the first nationwide strike ballot since the Trade Union Act 2016, which came fully into force in March 2017, and dictates that lawful strike action now requires a 50% turnout to vote.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 12:28 Author: Gemma Short, Mark Kent and Ollie Moore

On Saturday 30 September, workers and supporters protested outside the HR Owen car showrooms in London.

HR Owen sells a number of luxury sports cars, including Maserati and Ferrari, some of which sell for over £250,000 each. Last year it made a profit of £400m. Yet it only pays the minimum wage (through an outsourcing company) to its cleaners for the last five years. The inequality between rich and poor could not be clearer.

Three big disputes

Submitted by Matthew on 13 July, 2017 - 2:13 Author: Bob Carnegie

The most important industrial disputes that I’ve been involved in were the 1985 SEQEB (South East Queensland Electricity Board) dispute; the maritime dispute of 1998; and the 63-day Queensland Children’s Hospital construction workers’ dispute of 2012, after which I had a long battle against both criminal charges and litigation for civil damages.

The political journey to Trotskyism

Submitted by Matthew on 13 July, 2017 - 10:36 Author: Bob Carnegie

I always had a strong underlying humanist bias. I tended not to view things not just from an ideological viewpoint, as was the rule in the SPA [Socialist Party of Australia, a “hardline” pro-USSR split-off from the Communist Party of Australia]. My moral break from authoritarian state-capitalism, or Stalinism, which still infects the Australian left and the Australian trade union movement to a much larger degree than people realise, took a long time. I would say it took from 1979, when I joined the SPA, to the final break in about 1994.

Early years in the movement

Submitted by Matthew on 13 July, 2017 - 9:20

<b>Looking back, the watershed moment of the modern Australian labour movement was really 1975. The Governor-General sacked the reforming Labor government and put in the conservatives under Malcolm Fraser to govern instead. Workers organised a huge surge of strikes and demonstrations in response; but the union leaders limited and deflected the movement. After that, the left-wing ferment of Australia’s early 1970s subsided quite fast, thought the trade union movement remained strong. You would have been in your early teens then. Do you remember what you made of it?</b>