Trade unions


Anti-migrant politics weakens the workers’ movement

3 April 2019 On both the left and the right, people pit migrants' rights against workers' rights. That attitude only serves the interests of the powerful, writes Amardeep Dhillon.

Fast food fighters

29 January 2019 The bakers’ union president Ian Hodson spoke to Red Pepper about the new forms of organising that have enabled the union, founded in 1847, to begin to grow again.

There is power in a union

14 January 2019 A fast-growing grassroots union is shaking up the way trade unions organise among the lowest paid and most marginalised workers. Shiri Shalmy reports

The rise of the student worker

10 January 2019 The student population today is unrecognisable from that of a generation or more ago, writes Matt Myers. And it is central to any socialist project for the future.

Welcome to the crowd

17 December 2018 Six Silberman writes on the new horizons of digital platform labour

What can academics learn from the Lucas Plan?

22 November 2018 With the right organising and the right plan, UCU workers can transform universities from within. By David Ridley

Westminster’s democracy is crumbling. Trade unionists must lead the charge to fix it

17 September 2018 Nancy Platts writes that the workers' movement needs to challenge unaccountable power.

Precarious workers and popular forces

5 September 2018 The essential question for a socialist government is: are you willing to defend yourself? By Callum Cant

Why I’m striking for sick pay, pensions and a fair wage for cleaners like me

22 August 2018 Suzete Tinto Avez Gomes was severely injured whilst working at Kensington and Chelsea council, but her employer refuses to grant her adequate support or sick pay.

‘We are the Lions, Mr Vice-Chancellor.’

25 June 2018 David Ridley explores the vital fight for union recognition - from Grunwick factory workers to precarious University contractors.

Tyranny of the Mechanical Turk: The rise and rise of digital platform work

18 June 2018 Menial digital labour is being outsourced to the four corners of the globe. Robbie Warin reports that exploitation flourishes whilst global companies file millions in profit.

New battlegrounds in the class war

8 June 2018 Joe Hayns talks to Kim Moody about how global capital is reshaping the terrain of class struggle - and how workers are adapting.

Why I’m on McStrike: ‘£10 an hour would change our lives’

1 May 2018 Joshua Khan, 18, explains why he's joining today's McStrike and shares his experiences of working at his local branch in Watford

Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!

3 September 2017 McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank

Secrets and spies of Scotland Yard

23 March 2017 A new Espionage Act threatens whistleblowers and journalists, writes Sarah Kavanagh

Digital labourers of the city, unite!

17 March 2017 It may seem as though these apps are working for us, but we are also working for the apps, writes Kurt Iveson

LSE cleaners’ strike: Don’t let Women’s History Month become Groundhog Day

15 March 2017 It's over 100 years ago that domestic workers began to organise to demand the same rights as other workers. Yet with LSE cleaners on strike this week, historian Laura Schwartz asks: how much has really changed?

Utopia: Work less play more

18 January 2017 A shorter working week would benefit everyone, writes Madeleine Ellis-Petersen

What if the workers were in control?

21 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

8 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

13 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

11 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

7 March 2016 Dock workers in Greece are striking against further privatisations as Syriza's popularity tumbles, writes Will Horner

Jeremy Hardy thinks… about Trident

20 February 2016 'Nuclear weapons cannot be seen purely as a source of jobs'

Bang on target: a brief union history of arms conversion

11 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

1 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

1 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

20 May 2014 Trade unionists from across the globe to meet to share ideas and strategies and to build transnational links

Beating the blacklisters

14 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

6 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

7 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

11 May 2013 GMB union organiser Rob Macey puts the workers' side of the argument

The pay dispute at Brighton council: a Green view

10 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?

8 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

1 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

4 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

12 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

5 February 2012 Gregor Gall analyses the 30 November strikes. With a response by Heather Wakefield

Mythbuster: The truth about the unions

23 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?

6 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

29 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?

8 September 2011 Red Pepper interviews union leaders Len McCluskey of Unite and Mark Serwotka of PCS

Developing trade unionism in the crisis

30 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

15 April 2011 Amanda Tattersall explores how community organisations and unions can work together

What it would take to beat austerity

3 April 2011 Strikes and other action must be controlled by workers themselves argues Tom Denning

Jayaben Desai: Waking the generals

4 February 2011 Amrit Wilson shares memories of Grunwick strike leader Jayaben Desai

Finally making the grade

1 February 2011 Made in Dagenham didn’t tell the whole story. John Bohanna takes up the tale, with pictures by Carlos Guarita

Community coalition

2 January 2011 Clare Williams explains the thinking behind an innovative, union-led alliance

Striking for dignity in Spain

5 October 2010 Javier Navascués on the impact of Spain's general strike

Freedom for all?

30 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



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