New Unionism: how workers can fight back

Submitted by AWL on 21 December, 2011 - 12:40

New Unionism: how workers can fight back

A dayschool to discuss struggles past and present

Saturday 18 February, 11:30-5:30pm, Highgate Newtown Community Centre (25 Bertram Street, London N19 5DQ, Archway tube).

Registration: £15 waged, £8 low-waged/ student, £4 unwaged. To register online, click here, and enter the details of the amount you're paying and the registration you require when paying online.

Click here to download pdf leaflet.

Click here for the Facebook event.

In the late 1880s, workers (often unskilled or semi-skilled, often migrants and often working in casualised and precarious environments) organised militant industrial unions to fight back against their bosses. Socialist activists like Eleanor Marx, Tom Mann and Will Thorne were crucial to the struggles.

Faced with increasingly similar conditions today, can we build a New Unionism for the 21st century that transforms and revolutionises the modern labour movement?


11:30-11:45 – Registration

11:45-1:15 – Workshops

* How the socialists organised: the life and times of Tom Mann (Cathy Nugent, editor, Solidarity and Charlie McDonald, Hackney DWP PCS, pc, and Workers' Liberty)
* The movement for working-class self-education (Colin Waugh, further education activist, author of Plebs: the Lost Legacy of Independent Working-Class Education)
* Finding a political voice: from New Unionism to Labour representation (Martin Thomas and Sam Greenwood)
* Organising the unorganised today: a discussion of experiences and approaches (Mick Duncan, Unite, pc, Rosie Huzzard, PCS, pc)

1:15-2:00 – Lunch

2:00-4:00 – Workshops

* From the Matchworkers to the Chainmakers – how women organised (Jill Mountford, Workers' Liberty, and Louise Raw, author of Striking a Light, The Bryant and May Matchwomen and their Place in History)
* What came next – The Great Unrest 1911-1914 (Edd Mustill)
* Organising at work today: using The Troublemakers’ Handbook (Kim Moody, founder of Labor Notes magazine, academic, author — most recently US Labor in Trouble and Transition — and activist). For the specific Facebook event for this session, click here.

4:00-4:15 – Break

4:15-5:30 – Closing plenary: New Unionism 2012? How can we reinvigorate the labour movement? Speakers include Eamonn Lynch (Bakerloo Line tube driver victimised for union activity and reinstated following an RMT campaign), Jean Lane (Tower Hamlets Unison, pc, and Workers' Liberty) and an activist from the Industrial Workers of the World Cleaners' Branch.

Tickets: £15 (waged), £8 (low-waged), £4 (unwaged)

Creche, cheap food and bookstalls


After the event we are planning to go here…….

A spoken word/rap/hip hop/poetry benefit night put on by Hackney Benefits Collective to support Stop Criminalising Hackney's Youth! …. (see
with Brotherman
Ed Greenz
Rebecca Ubuntu David
The Ruby Kid
and many more to come!!
8pm to 2am
The Victoria, 451 Queensbridge Road, Dalston, Hackney, E8 3AS London, United Kingdom

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