Trade unions

What if the workers were in control? November 2016

Hilary Wainwright reflects on an attempt by British workers to produce a democratically determined alternative plan for their industry

Davey Hopper: union man November 2016

Huw Beynon reflects on the life of his friend and comrade Davey Hopper, the tough and imaginative Durham miners’ leader, who died in July

The battle behind the blacklisting victory May 2016

John Millington writes on how blacklisted workers won – and where the campaign is going next

Biting lions: remembering the Grunwick strike 40 years on April 2016

As the 40th anniversary of the Grunwick strike approaches, Sujata Aurora looks at its legacy and lessons for today

Greek dock workers feel betrayed by Syriza’s broken promises March 2016

Dock workers in Greece are striking against further privatisations as Syriza's popularity tumbles, writes Will Horner

Jeremy Hardy thinks… about Trident February 2016

'Nuclear weapons cannot be seen purely as a source of jobs'

Bang on target: a brief union history of arms conversion September 2015

Whatever follows the Labour elections, some policies must not return to the backburner - the time has come to look at arms conversion again. Phil Asquith starts from the beginning

Beating the blacklist June 2015

Dave Smith spoke to Ewa Jasiewicz about his fight against the corporate blacklists that keep union activists out of a job

Biting the hand that refuses to feed August 2014

Care workers in Doncaster have taken up the cudgels against privatisation in Ed Miliband’s backyard. Dave Honeybone reports

Labourstart Global Solidarity Conference opens this Friday in Berlin May 2014

Trade unionists from across the globe to meet to share ideas and strategies and to build transnational links

Beating the blacklisters November 2013

A police raid exposing the scale of worker surveillance within the construction industry galvanised workers to take action. Ewa Jasiewicz speaks to those organising against the blacklisters.

Persuading the unpersuaded – Frances O’Grady interview September 2013

As Frances O’Grady prepares to give the first speech by a woman TUC general secretary to its annual Congress, Red Pepper spoke to her about the challenges facing the trade union movement today

Winning at Walmart June 2013

The OUR Walmart campaign has been shaking up labour organising in the US. As they prepared for their current strike, Alex Wood spent a month with the people behind a new kind of fightback

The Brighton pay dispute: the union view May 2013

GMB union organiser Rob Macey puts the workers' side of the argument

The pay dispute at Brighton council: a Green view May 2013

Davy Jones, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, gives his view of a dispute that has caused huge debate among Green Party members in the city and across the country

Debate: Is the ‘co-op council’ really co-operating with cuts? March 2013

Local Labour councillor Edward Davie says Red Pepper’s recent article on Lambeth’s ‘co-operative council’ was disappointing. Below, council trade unionist Jon Rogers responds

Blue-collar casuals and the spread of precarity December 2012

Union organiser Ewa Jasiewicz looks at the increasing precarity of migrant and agency workers – and how they are fighting back

Community organising – a new part of the union September 2012

Richard Goulding looks at how Unite’s community union membership is working. Below, community activists and others respond

Review: Revolutionary Communist at Work April 2012

Revolutionary Communist at Work: A Political Biography of Bert Ramelson, by Roger Seifert and Tom Sibley, reviewed by Mary Davis

N30 and after: was that it? A debate on the public sector strikes February 2012

Gregor Gall analyses the 30 November strikes. With a response by Heather Wakefield

Mythbuster: The truth about the unions November 2011

As the Tories and their pals in the press ratchet up the anti-strike rhetoric, Red Pepper knocks down some of the myths they throw at the unions

The assault on public services – how can the unions fight back? October 2011

Canadian trade unionists Michael Hurley and Sam Gindin propose new strategies for a labour movement facing new challenges

Refounding the politics of labour September 2011

Ed Miliband's speech had little to say on the unions. Hilary Wainwright urges the Labour leader to embrace a newly political trade unionism

New life in the unions? September 2011

Red Pepper interviews union leaders Len McCluskey of Unite and Mark Serwotka of PCS

Developing trade unionism in the crisis June 2011

Unions must rise to the challenge of the cuts by empowering local branches and developing wider civil society resistance says Huw Beynon

Coalitions of the winning April 2011

Amanda Tattersall explores how community organisations and unions can work together

What it would take to beat austerity April 2011

Strikes and other action must be controlled by workers themselves argues Tom Denning

Jayaben Desai: Waking the generals February 2011

Amrit Wilson shares memories of Grunwick strike leader Jayaben Desai

Finally making the grade February 2011

Made in Dagenham didn’t tell the whole story. John Bohanna takes up the tale, with pictures by Carlos Guarita

Community coalition January 2011

Clare Williams explains the thinking behind an innovative, union-led alliance

Striking for dignity in Spain October 2010

Javier Navascués on the impact of Spain's general strike

Freedom for all? September 2010

The coalition has announced a 'Freedom Bill' to dismantle restrictions on liberties imposed over recent decades. But will it stop at the workplace? asks Keith Ewing

Natural solidarity July 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster was as much a disaster for workers as for the planet, writes David Whyte. Reconnecting life and work to the environment must be part of our response

Slash and burn at the Beeb July 2010

The BBC has barely been out of the headlines in recent months, not least since the publication of its major strategy review. Siobhan McGuirk asked trade unionists and industry figures what they think needs to change at the corporation

Workers of the world, co-operate! June 2010

Tim Hunt looks at what role workers' co-operatives could play in bringing about social change

‘Sin Patron’ in Dundee? May 2010

The Prisme packaging factory in Dundee was perhaps the first in the country to be occupied and to successfully take production under workers control. David Whyte visits the factory a year after the occupation

All together now January 2010

With public sector spending cuts the new orthodoxy, the trade union movement needs to mobilise a stronger counter-attack, argues Heather Wakefield of public sector union Unison

Unions see green light on climate January 2010

Chris Baugh explains how the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union and other UK trade unions are beginning to respond to the urgency of climate change with an agenda of 'just transition'

A fight worth having October 2009

Kate Ferguson interviews Ian Terry, a 23-year-old wind turbine worker involved in the occupation of the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight

Putting the cart before the horse August 2009

When the Trades Union Congress meets in Liverpool this September, it does so as a venerable institution of 141 years standing. But what relevance to the contemporary world of work and worker representation does it now have? By Gregor Gall

Striking back August 2009

The collapse in votes for mainstream parties, coupled with increasing outbreaks of strike action - official and unofficial - signifies growing political unrest in Britain. But how far will the rebellion spread? Peter Lazenby reports

Public service reform … but not as we know it! April 2009

How do you save money, improve services, involve the unions and strengthen democratic control at the same time? In Newcastle, they have come up with an alternative to privatisation that achieves all these objectives, as Hilary Wainwright reports

We are woman, we are strong … March 2009

Hilary Wainwright on the vital role women played in the miners' struggle

Look back in anger March 2009

In the introductory chapter to Shafted: The Media, the Miners' Strike and the Aftermath, Granville Williams revisits the way the media covered the strike

Dole not coal March 2009

Twenty-five years after the start of the year-long miners' strike against pit closures, fewer than half of the jobs lost in mining areas have been replaced. Huw Beynon reports on the common experience of Durham and south Wales, two of the coalfields that were worst hit by the closure programme

Unionising your workplace December 2008

A ten-step guide to workplace organisation from scratch. By Patrick Smith

The fight for the NUS October 2008

In trying to push through a reform package that the Guardian has called a 'Blairite revolution', the National Union of Students' Labour leadership is putting the NUS on a path to self-destruction, says executive member Hind Hassan

After the party September 2008

In 2004 the Fire Brigades Union disaffiliated from the Labour Party. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack explains what it has meant for the union politically

Wake up and smell the roses April 2008

Campaigners are exposing the conditions that predominantly women workers suffer in Kenya to bring cheap cut flowers to western Europe, writes Siobhan McGuirk

European unions of the people December 2007

Giulio Marcon and Duccio Zola survey the resistance to privatisation across Europe, highlighting the role of pan-European trade union initiatives and a growing alliance between social movements and the unions

A global war on labour? November 2007

The number of trade unionists killed, arrested or 'just' dismissed in the pursuit of their members rights has increased alarmingly over the past year, according to a survey by the International Trade Union Confederation. Italian labour journalist Vittorio Longhi, interviews ITUC general secretary Guy Ryder about this and other issues facing the international trade union movement

Low pay, no way August 2007

When a campaign in support of contract cleaners at Canary Wharf shamed Barclays Bank into announcing a living wage for all its London workers, it marked an effective new alliance between trade unions and the wider community. Jane Wills on a labour movement success story

Casualisation still kills April 2007

Construction has a fatality rate five times the all-industry average, and causes by far the highest number of deaths of any industry, write Steve Tombs and Dave Whyte.

The new union generation August 2005

For those who think that trade unions are simply a reminder of a Britain that no longer exists, the recent sight of striking TGWU members outside the Houses of Parliament should be enough to set them straight.

Links: Twenty years on April 2005

Ann Suddick of Women Against Pit Closures recalls the miners' strike and its lessons for today's global justice campaigners.

‘We’ve never had it so bad’ December 2004

With the campaign against Gordon Brown's job cuts in the civil service gathering momentum, 2005 is set to be a big year for the PCS trade union. PCS leader Mark Serwotka talks to Chris Leach

Union wild card seeks to trump modernisers from within October 2004

GMB leader Kevin Curran tells Hilary Wainwright why his trade union will no longer write Labour a blank cheque

The abiding relevance of the trade union movement September 2004

Guest editor Natfhe general-secretary Paul Mackney introduces this month's Red Pepper features

Contractor killers April 2004

Dave Whyte reports on the hidden human costs of sub-contracting in the construction and engineering industries

Choose solidarity, not fear April 2004

"A triumph of democracy over fear,' declared Spain's new prime minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero, after Spanish voters defied conservative predictions that the Madrid bombings would drive them to support the government.

The RMT shows the way March 2004

To most Westminster pundits, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union's opening of its political fund to organisations other than Labour and the union's consequent expulsion by the party are a sideshow.

PFI, GATS and secondary action all up for discussion at the TUC September 2003

It gives an annual snapshot of what's on the minds of Britain's trade unionists, and the agenda for this year's TUC conference shows a union movement widely at odds with its Labour government.

The people’s republic of south London September 2003

Guest editor NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear begins Red Pepper's trade union special with a celebration of the uniquely holistic approach to workplace, cultural and consumer activism of the Battersea and Wandsworth TUC. And the BWTUC's Geoff Martin describes how his organisation developed the Left Field at Glastonbury.

Red tape whingers attacked by British trade unionists August 2003

Trade unionists have lambasted "red tape whingers" and attacked British industry's focus on cheap labour and low investment, in a report responding to a government study on UK competitiveness.

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