UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

How should the unions respond to the CSR? TUC Union Ideas Network debate‏

Now, more than ever, the trade union movement needs somewhere for a forensic examination of industrial relations and the role of trade unions in British society generally, and around the world. Union Ideas Network is the forum which brings together leading academics in industrial relations, business and political and social sciences into contact and dialogue with the trade union movement.

The new Union Ideas Network, www.unionetwork.org.uk/ , launched last week will not only be a forum for trade unionists and academics to exchange and debate ideas and responses to today’s challenges but also to look to the future and anticipate what awaits society if the expansion of global capital continues, undermining democratic structures and local communities. What do unions need to do to meet the concerns of workers and their families and how can unions change to ensure their place in a changing society?

The ideologically driven Comprehensive Spending Review raises questions about how trade unions respond not only to the attacks on their members in the public sector but how they are seen as leading figures in the defence of living standards in the UK.

In UIN’s first Discussion Forum Steve Davies, Senior Research Fellow, Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, argues that the CSR offers opportunities for the unions to rebuild in the workplace, reach out to the wider community and lead a debate on the future of the country, as much as opportunities for the Tories to reconfigure the state.

Read Steve’s paper and make your response at the Union Ideas Network website www.unionetwork.org.uk/. Joining the network is free.

The UIN operates as a separate entity from the TUC, though the TUC is pleased to be associated with this initiative and will be part of the Network’s Board.