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

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Plymouth Council follows US Trends?

People Management magazine has an interesting article about the state of unions in the US and asks - is the UK is going the same way? Although the tone of the article is ‘partnership is good ‘ it touchstones the developments in the US – lower union density, de- recognition, more conflict and threats of strikes. http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2011/08/state-of-the-union.htm?area=er

There is no mention of developments at Plymouth specifically but the warning is there, even if the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development sees it as unlikely.

What is missing from the article is any analysis of union response to these changes. US unions have responded with a shift to organising away from servicing. They have also shifted away from funding Obama and reinvesting in their own organising functions. We have yet to see the full fruits of this shift – overall US union density is still only 11.9% but stabilising. UK unions need to take another look at what is happening in the US. It's no longer a question of what the SEIU doing as AFL – CIO affiliates have also shifted to new strategies.