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

Saturday, 12 January 2013

3 Routes to Union Growth

Gregor Gall examines some recent success stories of union membership growth which buck the underlying trend of decline over the past 30 years - one is organising employers through partnership deals (Usdaw), another is a focus on professionalism (NAS/UWT & NUT) and the the third is militancy (RMT). It is notable that in each case the unions have been operating in either a stable or expanding labour market:

Masses by César Vallejo

At the end of the battle,
and the combatant dead, a man came unto him
and said ‘Do not die, I love you so much!’
But the corpse, alas, kept on dying.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Building workers confidence and a rank and file movement

'The two crucial basic, albeit often ignored, ingredients for the rebuilding of a strong workplace union reps’ movement are struggle and politics' writes Ralph Darlington of Salford University in a study of The State of Workplace Union Reps’ Organisation in Britain Today:
  The document begins and middles out with citations and quotes from leading trade union academics - Darlington, Hyman, Gall and Waddington - but suddenly drops off a cliff into sectarian speak without any references. The conclusion is stated without any of the pretence that it's a piece of work based on the debate.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Not so much a glass ceiling as a concrete roof

In this article on the Dissent website the failure of some parts of the feminist movement to grasp the class politics of women's oppression in the workforce, in the economy and, yes, still in the home, is the subject of an excellent analysis from a US perspective:

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Coalition Mid Term Review - Bad, Mad And Dangerous

Be warned that reading the fifty two page Coalition mid-term review is bad for the health, leaving a nasty taste in the mouth as well as the feeling of bile rising in the gullet. Smug, complacent and self congratulatory, it reeks of the politics of a blinkered ruling class, whose idea of how the majority of people live is created exclusively from repeated showings of Jeremy Kyle and exposure to Daily Mail headlines. Jokes about Ronseal aside, the performance on view was usual over-confident public school boy banter.
  Fundamentally the script has not changed.The emphasis remains the deficit, dear boy, the deficit. Long term unemployment, failing construction, manufacturing and services sectors matter not.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

1.6m kids live in severe poverty while the rich have never had it so good

John Wight contrasts the stark reality of a divided Britain where 1.6m children live in households which are 'mired in severe poverty.. forced to make a choice between heating and eating on an income of £15,000 or less' but the 1,000 richest people 'have seen their wealth increase by a staggering £155 billion over the past three years of the recession.' Wight argues that 2013 could prove to be one of the most socially convulsive and ugly in Britain's social history:

The Debt by Luiza Neto Jorge

Alive in the dagger’s instantaneous lip
in the daily arrested hour

The debts grow they’re already rough
they hurt the skin they’re already pus