15 comments on “The Wobblies

  1. Vanya on said:

    #1 Great and proud tradition. I’m not surprised that people want to struggle and organise on the basis of it.

    But let’s not do so in competition with those who have won significant victories in terms of getting the official trade union movement to fulfill its duties or as a substitute for that continuing struggle.

    Unity is strength.

  2. Adam Ford,

    I really wish ANY union would attempt to organise agency/zero hours contract workers. Without secure employment (that is without a guaranteed adequate income every month) we essentially have no rights at all at work. If the bosses ask you to work a 12 hour day, for example, you’ve got to do it because next week you might be unemployed. It’s ridiculous that in 2016 we still don’t even have the 8 hour day that our ancestors were demanding 150+ years ago. And it affects everything else as well. Disagree with the management for any reason, and they might well just get someone else to replace you the next day.

    We NEED unions, and the unions need members. Why aren’t the unions recruiting us?

  3. jim mclean on said:

    JN: We NEED unions, and the unions need members. Why aren’t the unions recruiting us?

    Oligarchs have no interest in the little people

  4. #3 How about looking at that article from Andy about cleaners at the Nationwide?

    Or the work done by Unite at Sport’s Direct?

    Or the BFAWU leafleting fast food workers?

    Maybe not enough, but all I can say is, “Don’t moan, organise!”

  5. John Grimshaw on said:

    Vanya:
    #3 How about looking at that article from Andy about cleaners at the Nationwide?

    Or the work done by Unite at Sport’s Direct?

    Or the BFAWU leafleting fast food workers?

    Maybe not enough, but all I can say is, “Don’t moan, organise!”

    I think the point is more serious than that Vanya. I don’t think JN is just moaning. For years now Union leaderships have ignored the growing crisis of casual labour and have done nothing but moan about it themselves. The U.K. As you know is rapidly becoming a low wage economy for all but
    Those workers with particular skills such as say rolls Royce engine people for example. My own Union the NUT has had to be shoe horned into having supply teachers meetings in recent months when previously it has just ignored the issue. It still doesn’t have any dedicated structure designed to recruit supply teachers. And the issue has now become more urgent. When the new trades Union act comes into place in the autumn it will then become legal for school employers to use agency teachers to break strikes if they wish to do so.

  6. #6 I don’t downplay the problem, far from it. Apologies if it appeared that I was doing.

    My point is that people in the trade unìon movement, at all levels, are attempting to address it.

    Conunsels of despair don’t achieve anything but demoralisation.

  7. #6 & 7 Have a look at today’s Morning Star. Particularly the articles about Sports Direct and Greggs.

  8. Vanya,

    I would have written something about it, but have been away on a couple of breaks over the last two weeks, and am busy promoting Corbyn in the real world!

  9. Pete Jones on said:

    Unite has done some excellent work, but the problem is that unions organise on an employer basis and to properly support casual used workers you often need to organise on a community basis, because the workplace structures are too fragile. I don’t think any Union has got to grips with this, though I am aware of the unite community branches (variable success) and unison’s shopfronts (still embryonic, and limited to public services). It feels like the TUC needs to take a lead in establishing local cross-Union workers centres, at least a pilot would be good.

  10. Andy Newman:
    Vanya,

    I would have written something about it, but have been away on a couple of breaks over the last two weeks, and am busy promoting Corbyn in the real world!

    Great stuff Andy.

    Far better than only promoting him in the virtual world.

    And considerably better than attacking and undermining him in either world.

  11. #13 Manchester Trades Council is moving very much in that direction, and with the full involvement of the local Unite Community Branch.

    One issue that will become more and more important in all of this is how we deal with in work conditionality and support those low paid/ part time workers affected in those areas where Universal Credit is coming in fully.

    Ironically many PCS members working for the DWP are becoming affected by this.