Union organising

How to organise young workers

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. According to a recent TUC survey, workers between the ages of 16-24 make up nearly a third of the total workforce in hotels and restaurants in the UK (migrant workers and women of all ages...

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.

Green reps for PCS?

One of my briefs as Assistant General Secretary is to oversee the union’s work on climate change. With the COP26 conference coming up, we’re mobilising members to attend demonstrations and take part in actions around the country. We also want to use COP as impetus to build up a network of “green reps” throughout the union, with at least one in every branch. Longer term, we want to push for employers to recognise these reps. Climate change can’t be treated as an issue “out there”, it’s something we have to organise around as an industrial issue in our own workplaces. I want to see green reps...

Support Facebook cleaners, 15 October

Workers cleaning Facebook’s London offices are protesting outside them weekly about the sacking of their union rep and workloads which are making them unwell. The next protest is 4pm on Friday 15 October at the Facebook office at 10 Brock St, NW1 3FG. The workers’ union CAIWU (Cleaning and Allied Independent Workers’ Union) will be balloting for strikes on issues including the sacking of Guillermo Camacho. They are also calling for Facebook to terminate their contract with Churchill Cleaning and bring them in-house. Cleaners and facilities workers have won or are pushing for insourcing at a...

Make Labour councils back Royal Parks workers (John Moloney's column)

Royal Parks workers’ month-long strike is continuing. There’s no new offer from the outsourced contractor yet; we think they are talking to Royal Parks, to see how much license they’ll be given to resolve the dispute. The contractor says any changes to staffing levels that result from the restructure we’re opposing will be “minimal”, but that could mean almost anything. Until we get something firm then the dispute will continue. We want to increase the pressure on Royal Parks centrally. We’re writing directly to the Board of Trustees, which includes two leaders of Labour councils, Camden and...

Royal Parks on strike (John Moloney's column)

Outsourced cleaners and attendants in London’s Royal Parks are striking throughout October. We began the strike with a successful rally on 1 October. We have more workers participating in the strike this time, which is a good sign, especially as a month-long strike is a significant escalation. We’ve had good support from across the labour movement. Jeremy Corbyn and Andy McDonald sent solidarity greetings, and John McDonnell addressed the strike rally. Fundraising is particularly important, as we want to ensure strike pay at a level as close as possible to workers’ full wages. We don’t want to...

Royal Parks out from 1 October (John Moloney's column)

We’re preparing for a month-long strike by outsourced cleaners and attendants in Royal Parks, which will begin on 1 October. That’s a significant escalation, so we’re also launching a new drive to fundraise for the strike fund. We’ll need active solidarity from our own branches, especially in London, and from the wider movement to help the strike win. Strategic discussions are ongoing within our branch at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) complex in Swansea. There’s a strong resolve to launch a new ballot, but detailed discussions are taking place about exactly how that ballot...

Forced back into the office? (John Moloney's column)

Many of our members have been in the workplace throughout the pandemic. A majority, though, have home-worked. We have always known that these members will return to the workplace some time. Our argument is that they should only do so when safe. In September last year, the government made a concerted push to get everyone back to the workplace but that failed. This September, the concerned push has been replaced by an expectation that staff will return to the workplace for one or two days a week either this month or in October. The union is opposed to any moves to force staff back. Our...

BEIS strike 22-24 September (John Moloney's column)

Outsourced workers at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will strike again, unless a deal is found, from 22-24 September, demanding pay increases and the reinstatement of annual leave entitlement. The last day of that strike coincides with a global climate strike; that’s significant as BEIS is a key department in terms of the UK’s climate policy. We’ll make the picket line at BEIS a focus for mobilising union members across London, and will be promoting the union’s climate policies as part of that. PCS is balloting our driving examiner members for industrial...

PCS and UVW: a model for union joint working (John Moloney's column)

In Royal Parks, outsourced cleaners and attendants demonstrated on 30 August, part of a two-week strike against job cuts and for improved conditions [workers at the rally above]. The contractor, Just Ask, has already back off from its original plan to cut 33% of all jobs. On 9 September, they’re due to write to us with a new proposal. Some of our next steps will depend on that. There’s also a positive aspect to the dispute, including the demand for full sick pay. Royal Parks has admitted that the previous contractor had agreed to implement 18 weeks’ full sick pay entitlement to all staff...

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