Tuesday, 12 June 2012

"a new trade unionism for a modern workforce"

Owen Jones, who spoke at the branch AGM, has an interesting article about the future of trade unions at CLASS, the Centre for Labour and Social Studies.

He writes: But it is the change in the nature of the workforce that, above all, makes it far harder to organise. The new service sector jobs are cleaner, less back-breaking and exclude women less, although they tend to be concentrated in the lowest-paid and most insecure work. On the other hand, pay is often lower: sacked car workers at the Longbridge car factory who ended up in the service sector were on an average of 60% of the pay. Communities are not based around supermarkets and call centres, as they once were around steelworks, mines and docks.

...The explosion in unemployment and underemployment also pose a huge challenge. According to the TUC, if you include ‘economically inactive’ people not included in the official unemployment figures and those forced to do part-time jobs, there are over six million people looking for full-time work. Such a huge army of potential jobseekers strengthens the hands of bosses and saps the confidence of other workers, because they feel less confident about rocking the boat knowing there is no shortage of others willing to replace them.

Do read the whole piece.

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