Union organising

How to organise young workers

Published on: Fri, 11/01/2008 - 16:44
Author

Editorial

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

Published on: Fri, 31/03/2006 - 18:13

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.

Building for a new pay ballot

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:49
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

We are building towards a renewed dispute over pay and pensions for directly-employed civil servants in 2020.

Our 2019 conference voted for that, and some recent developments have given additional impetus. The government has told the union nationally that the civil service pension scheme is overfunded, meaning there’s more money coming in than going out.

This means it could absorb a 2% reduction in employee contributions, effectively a 2% pay rise. But the government has said they can’t do this, as they need the spare cash to pay for the fallout from the Fire Brigades Union’s victory in their

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:31
Author

Gerry Bates, Dom Sztyber, Darren Bedford and Ollie Moore

The ballot for general secretary of the civil service union PCS will open on 7 November and close on 12 December.

For the first time in 18 years, the sitting general secretary, Mark Serwotka, faces a challenge from the left.

Bev Laidlaw, the Independent Left candidate, got 17 branch nominations, topping the number of 15 required to get on the ballot paper.

Serwotka got 62 nominations. The candidate backed by the Socialist Party, Marion Lloyd, got 39.

The SP was a dominant force in the union, closely allied with Serwotka, until about a year and a half ago.

In the Assistant General Secretary

Perspectives for the “tiny unions”

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 10:15
Author

Daniel Randall and Zack Muddle

A version of this article was discussed as a document at the Workers’ Liberty Industrial School held on 28 September. Workers’ Liberty organises such schools regularly for workplace activists to discuss political and strategic issues within the labour movement.

A relatively new feature on the landscape of the labour movement in Britain is the role of small trade unions, with a few thousand members at most, not affiliated to the TUC, organising mainly migrant and precarious workers, often in the so-called “gig economy”.

This document will refer to these unions as the “tiny unions”, and will

NEU support staff call for wage fight

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 08:53
Author

Bill Davies

The first support staff conference of the National Education Union (NEU) since the NUT and ATL officially and fully merged has voted to send a radical, bold motion on pay for school support staff to the NEU’s annual conference next April.

The motion (5 October) calls for the union:

• to pursue standard national pay, terms and conditions for support staff
• to launch a campaign for support staff to get an across-the-board £3 per hour pay rise (equivalent to about a £5000 per year increase full-time)
• and to initiate a specific Living Wage campaign to win the Living Wage Foundation rates (£9/hr

Victory at BEIS

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 08:46
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

Outsourced workers at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have won a hugely significant victory.

Their sustained campaign of strikes, which has included an all-out, indefinite strike, has forced Aramark, one of the outsourced contractors, to concede the London Living Wage of £10.55. The dispute with ISS, the other contractor at BEIS, continues, but following the win with Aramark we are hopeful for a win over ISS as well.

Now the task is to consolidate these gains by pushing for union recognition, not just at BEIS but across the civil service.

PCS has written to

Royal Mail eCourier strike

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 09:04
Author

Zack, IWGB activist and Deliveroo courier

Couriers working for eCourier, a Royal Mail Group subsidiary, will strike on 10 and 11 October.

IWGB — the union they and I are in — demands the couriers be put on worker contracts, be paid the London Living Wage after costs and that the company enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the union.

For years, eCourier — like Deliveroo and many other courier companies — has been unlawfully classifying pushbike, motorbike and van couriers as independent contractors, denying them their most basic employment rights, including the right to a guaranteed minimum wage and the right to holiday

“Worker status” for couriers!

Published on: Wed, 18/09/2019 - 09:08
Author

Zack, Deliveroo courier activist, Bristol Couriers’ Network — IWGB

The California state legislature has passed a landmark “AB5” bill to tighten legislation in the so-called “gig economy”, extending basic workers’ rights to many who had been deprived them.

In the USA, as in the UK, companies such as Uber or Deliveroo falsely categorise most of their workers as “independent contractors”. This deprives us of basic workers’ rights such as minimum wage, holiday pay, a pension, and collective bargaining rights. The number of workers with such jobs has more than doubled in the last three years, to around one in ten working-age adults.

Companies, when attempting to

Lessons from McStrike

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 08:36
Author

Justine Canady

Last year the “McStrike” campaign got an enthusiastic response from many labour movement left and labour movement activists.

But now, for a long time, there haven’t been any local branch meetings for fast food workers, any meetings for workers in the “McStrike” campaign, or meetings with organisers about the direction of the campaign. What went wrong?

Over the last year or so I’ve worked in Wetherspoons, and before that in Brixton McDonalds. Another worker previously involved in cinema worker organising was already working at Brixton when I started there.

From the start we were told by the

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