From the TUC

Union organising

Starting a campaign: Goals

05 Sep 2013, By

As Maria in the Sound of Music said, ‘lets start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start’.  And so it is with running a campaign. I have often seen campaigners and organisers get an idea for an issue, a good soundbite and some headline catching stunts and begin a campaign.  More…

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Organising, communicating & the internet

21 Aug 2013, By

In the position I’m in here at the TUC, I’m often asked what I am reading, what I would recommend to others hoping to steer successful campaigns. Over the last year, I have been increasingly drawn to the work of cognitive linguistics in the shape of George Lakoff (more on my take on communications can be found here)…

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US unions: the latest youth craze?

10 Jul 2013, By

Well, they’re not in Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga’s league yet, but Harold Meyerson’s analysis of recent opinion poll data on the popularity of unions suggests some interesting demographic trends. He’s surely right that the overall popularity of unions recovering to pre-crash levels of just above 50% is nothing special. Indeed I’ve always been a…

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Union numbers hold up, thanks to women

30 May 2013, By

Trade union membership is growing during these tough times and it’s thanks to women. That’s the headline that leaps out at me from the latest government stats on trade union membership. Union membership has grown by 59,000 since 2011 to 6.455 million. Women make up 40,000 of that growth. This is part of a longer…

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It’s membership and mobilisation that makes us a movement

19 Feb 2013, By

The excellent Unison Active blog has picked up on an interesting debate going on in the US labour movement that has some relevance for unions in the UK; to what extent is union density and membership linked to union power and influence? It’s obvious that to establish relevance and legitimacy unions need to increase membership,…

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Austerity hits US unions and working people

27 Jan 2013, By

The latest figures for US trade union membership tell two stories. One is the story of the effect of austerity on trade union membership levels; but the deeper story is about how austerity hits jobs and living standards. The two are inexorably linked. AFLCIO President Rich Trumka said of the latest statistics: “Working women and…

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Playing bigger than you are: Lessons from US organising

25 Jan 2013, By

I’m so excited to be doing my first international book tour, bringing my new book, Playing Bigger Than You Are: An Organizer’s Life, to Britain, and working to deliver training for the TUC’s Organising Academy. The book is all about the 40 years I’ve spent as a community and union organizer in America, mostly in the…

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