Unions & politics

Workers' Liberty 3/3: Factory bulletins from the early communist movement and today

Whole publication as pdf Introduction: agitate, educate, organise Producing Tubeworker Leafleting on the Manchester Ship Canal "Workers can't write newspapers? Really? Just tell us some news about your factory" Essential tools (by Leon Trotsky) Extracts from a factory newspaper (Germany, early 1920s) A factory bulletin by Vladimir Lenin "Factory newspapers riled the employers from the beginning" Images from the factory bulletins

Scottish Labour - why did GMB abstain?

On the eve of the 12 September 2020 meeting of the Scottish Labour Party Executive Committee, Gary Smith, Regional Secretary of the GMB union, announced that the GMB would be abstaining on the motion of ‘no confidence’ in leader Richard Leonard. “Richard Leonard’s Own Union Refuses To Back Him Ahead of Leadership Vote,” read the headlines in the Scottish press. According to Smith: “At a time like this, our members would not thank us for getting bogged down in an internal Scottish Labour party issue, a party for which many of them no longer vote for.” “Bogged down”? But all the two GMB...

A letter to Andy Newman about gas

Comrade Andy Newman, Like you, I have many criticism’s of Extinction Rebellion’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (see here). But in your LabourList polemic against the Bill, writing as technical director of the “Gas Users Organisation” (GUO) and as a GMB and Labour Party activist, you come down squarely on the wrong side of the crucial issues. You warn of “another culture war divide” over the twin needs of tackling climate change and “protecting well-paid, skilled jobs, and protecting the interests of families and households”. Your answer? Not radical socialist environmentalist policies...

Why we need a general strike

Workers' Action pamphlet, "Why We Need a General Strike", 1980 Click here to download pdf

New problems, new struggles

A "handbook for trade unionists", published in November 1989 as a special issue of Socialist Organiser, no.421-3 Click here to download pdf.

Unison: opening out the choice

The election for the general secretary position in public sector union Unison begins on 10 August. Branch nominations run from then until 25 September, and the vote from 28 October to 27 November, with results announced on 11 January 2021. Incumbent general secretary Dave Prentis, in office since 2001 and with a record of profound bureaucratic conservatism, will retire when his current term ends in December. Candidates require 25 branch nominations to make the ballot paper. So far, five candidates have formally declared their intention to stand, three of whom are currently unelected officials...

Isolation pay for all!

To suppress Covid-19, and avoid or minimise a resurgence, we need to win decent isolation pay and sick pay for all workers. Protect your workmates; public health test-and-tracing; work or full pay for all! Editorial article and video. In the Ministry of Justice, the United Voices of the World union has won an agreement with the contractor OCS for full sick pay for workers covering time taken off since April, for a period of up to 14 days. In care homes, after months of campaigning, some 40% now give isolation pay; the government has set up a fund explicitly designed to allow isolation pay for all workers; and a government report has recognised officially that absence of isolation pay increases the Covid-19 death toll.

Hong Kong: power for democracy

On 11-12 July, over 600,000 people in Hong Kong took part the election primaries of Power for Democracy, the election umbrella for the pro-democracy, anti-CCP forces. The primaries were to select candidates for the elections in September to the ruling Legislative Council (LegCo) of Hong Kong. The turnout was a morale boost after the National Security Law (NSL) was imposed on 30 June. There have always been tensions within the democracy movement between the “traditional” democrats and the movement that grew after 2014. The new movement, loosely referred to as “localist”, was overwhelmingly...

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