Tag Archives for Trade Unions

Three lessons the labour movement must learn from the Fight for 15 at Walmart

Social media, the power of reputational damage and effective communications are powerful tools for trade union organising Across Europe trade union strength is diminishing. In many countries union membership is falling. Even where membership and collective bargaining appear robust this is mainly due to legal supports rather than unions’ retaining structural power. Sectoral agreements are being hollowed out and the … Continue reading

8 June 2018 by
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A call for the revival of political and economic education

Political and economic education is pitiful, and via political parties, the education system and trade unions, it desperately needs to be revived One way we participate in democracy is by voting. Another may be protesting, or through supporting some trade union action. However we engage, we are doing so armed with some knowledge about the current state of affairs, and … Continue reading

7 June 2018 by
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Embracing data is key to the future of unions

Learning to read and predict our changing environment through strategic use of data is crucial for the survival of trade unions “Will you be happy when the last union office turns its lights off? Is that what success looks like?” This is a challenge Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, sometimes lays down to employers and HR professionals, evoking an … Continue reading

6 June 2018 by
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Building up the bundle of sticks. New ideas for union organising

A new mini-series of blogs, published by SPERI and openDemocracy, will present new ideas for how unions can organise and engage with the workforce. “A trade union is like a bundle of sticks. The workers are bound together and have the strength of unity … A worker who is not in a union is like a single stick. She can … Continue reading

5 June 2018 by
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Macron’s railway reforms: the ultimate test for French trade unionism

Heather Connolly

Railway trade unions have begun three months of rolling strikes from April-June 2018 against reforms to their employment rights. The outcome of this dispute will be decisive for the government and its ability to make further reforms, and for the very future of the French trade union movement It was only a matter of time before the status of cheminot … Continue reading

19 April 2018 by
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Conform or confront? Will young people turn to trade unions to address precariousness?

Our new research published today considers the perspectives of today’s young people on trade unionism – and how unions can respond The structural reasons for declining trade union membership rates among the young have been widely documented. In a nutshell, the young are increasingly concentrated in lower-value service industries which have traditionally been under-unionised. Indeed, relatively novel employment practices within these … Continue reading

13 February 2018 by
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Macron’s labour reforms are a major test for France’s trade unions

Heather Connolly

President Macron’s extensive labour reforms are part of a programme of state-led liberalization which will shift the balance of power towards employers and test trade union strength and unity It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the current labour reforms in France, for employers, workers and their representatives. The Government seems fully aware of the significance and the potential … Continue reading

13 November 2017 by
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It’s time to regulate the gig economy

Technology is used to monitor workers doing platform-based work. It can also be used to regulate work and protect workers Over a century ago, labour laws began to be instituted in diverse countries throughout the world. These laws were intended to provide protection to workers in what was recognized as an unequal relationship of exchange, but it also gave authority … Continue reading

18 April 2017 by
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The gig economy requires unions to embrace the Internet

The internet provides new opportunities to strengthen collective action and improve new forms of work These are hard times for trade unions. Private sector union membership in the US is down to under 7 per cent of workers. While private sector membership in the UK is higher, at 14 per cent, the ability of UK unions to win disputes, outside … Continue reading

11 April 2017 by
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It’s not the gig economy, stupid

The gig economy has got us talking about the labour market, but the decline in trade union membership matters more Sometimes change comes suddenly and without warning, in big bold type on the front pages. But, often, the changes that really matter never make it to the headlines. Take the large falls in global poverty over the past few decades, … Continue reading

11 April 2017 by
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Social exclusion and labour rights in the banlieues of Paris

Heather Connolly

Trade unions can support the integration of migrants and minorities in France and must do so more actively in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks The terrorist attacks in Paris have again highlighted the problem of social divisions in France and the extent to which they lead to feelings of exclusion that in some way incite violent responses. It appears … Continue reading

16 December 2015 by
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