From the TUC

No beer and sandwiches (apparently)

30 Nov 2008, By

I came across this short piece on the Politics Home site today discussing the influence (or lack of) of unions on recent policy announcements by the government. According to a panel of “insiders and experts” trade unions (and am I being paranoid in thinking that the way the piece is worded suggests that the author thinks that…

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Zimbabwe – it’s not all about who gets which Ministry

30 Nov 2008, By

A lot of the coverage of Zimbabwe in the news deals with two issues – how ghastly life in Zimbabwe is (eg the latest outbreak of cholera); and how Mugabe and Tsvangirai are squabbling over which Ministry their parties get. These are not unimportant issues (the main argument between ZANU-PF and the MDC is over who controls…

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Union campaigning laid foundations for Obama campaigning

30 Nov 2008, By

I’ve just come across an interesting article in the US radical journal In These Times, by Randy Shaw, called Origins of the Obama Machine. It recounts some of the campaign history of the United Farm Workers (UFW) in the 60s and 70s in California, and shows how their campaigning work presaged the Obama campaign’s real innovation…

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Jail guitar doors

28 Nov 2008, By

Jail guitar doors Last night I attended a private screening of ‘Jail guitar doors’ a documentary produced to highlight the independent initiative set up by Billy Bragg called Jail Guitar doors which aims to provide musical instruments for the use of inmates serving time in Her Majesty’s prisons. It takes its name from the b-side…

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An ethical week?

28 Nov 2008, By

I’ve spent the last couple of days in Madrid attending an ETUI ‘Recruitment Network’ meeting – and so have done little in the way of shopping etc. I flew out – and am waiting to fly back – on British Airways, which recognises a number of TUC affiliated unions including UNITE and BALPA. As usual…

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Building the Reps team

28 Nov 2008, By

Yesterday I was in Blackpool at an event run by unionlearn in the North West to speak about the Activist Academy as part of a workshop on the link between Learning and Organising. During the discussion that followed the opening comments we got round to asking the reps there how many of them, as well…

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Days Four & Five

25 Nov 2008, By

Rather than go through EVERY single transaction I’ve, well transacted, over the last two days – here are some of the ‘highlights’  (I use the word ‘highlights’ very advisedly)   On-line shopping at Tesco – Tesco is one of those companies people love to hate…its 30% UK market share has seen it come under fire…

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