Thursday, 23 April 2015
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
There is much that feeds into the educational and pedagogical strategy of the international labour and trade union studies programme at Ruskin College.
Some of this is a reflection of our day-to-day work with trade unions when meeting their own educational needs and from this devising a sense of what activists and officers 'need' from us in the form of the BA and MA ILTUS. Similarly, as we read to prepare for teaching (and creating allied resources) there is much rich material to draw from (the activist experience of our students is a constant source of material also and co-production of teaching/resources with students is a Freirean fundamental) and engage with.
Of course we also draw on our own activism, and critical reflection of this is essential to continual change, improvement etc.
I must though give special thanks to those who comprise and contribute to the Critical Labour Studies (CLS) network. The stalwarts of the network (Jane Holgate, Miguel Martinez Lucio, Simon Joyce, John Stirling) do a essential job in keeping the network alive and functioning despite their own workload challenges.
|MA ILTUS Full-Time students (Matt, Chilayi, Nokwazi and Paul, |
with Fenella Porter (vital MA staff member) and I, after the MA
students presented papers on their dissertation research at the 2015
|John Woods (BA ILTUS) contributes|
to the 2014 CLS symposium
I wanted to publish John's piece here to provide an insight on the work of the network, but also to show that in the tradition of workers'/adult education, it acts as a key bridge between the scholarly and the 'coalface'. I wanted also to do this to send a note of thanks to all of those who comprise the network and for their help with the work of the ILTUS students and staff at Ruskin.
What is critical labour studies?
Strikes in China’s docks; organising migrant workers in the UK and domestic workers in Turkey; fire fighters and floods; the future of socialist feminism along with the quantified self were all up for debate at this year’s Critical Labour Studies conference at Ruskin College. CLS was founded over a decade ago to bring together radical academics working in the field of employment relations with trade union officers and activists to build joint working and provide a forum for new ideas and open debate. Today the conference is also joined by new researchers as well as students on Ruskin College’s trade union studies degree programmes alongside international trade union visitors and researchers.
|Katia Widlak (MA ILTUS) contributes|
to the 2014 symposium
|Pete Dwyer, Academic Co-ordinate of|
Humanities at Ruskin, presents a paper
at the 2014 symposium
Posted by Ian Manborde at 02:23
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
This short article of mine has been published today on the Future of Work Hub website: http://www.futureofworkhub.info/allcontent/2015/4/14/power-from-the-people-why-trade-union-decline-should-concern-us-all
Power from the people: why trade union decline should concern us all
Posted by Ian Manborde at 08:46
Saturday, 11 April 2015
A reminder that this event is coming soon and one of significant interest to trade unionists internationally. There is a fantastic line-up of speakers and current/past students of the MA ILTUS at Ruskin speaking about their allied research/outcomes.
There are no costs to attend and lunch is provided on both days free of charge. Places are limited though so please email Ruth Cufflin asap to secure a place: email@example.com
In Solidarity - Ian
Posted by Ian Manborde at 07:58
Monday, 30 March 2015
Ruskin College is an associate member of the Global Labour University (GLU) which is a network of universities, trade unions and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) delivering an MA programme similar to that run at Ruskin: http://www.global-labour-university.org/
It is a real privilege to belong to the GLU community and I am pleased to be able to advertise the first (and free) online course to come out of the GLU initiative: workers' rights in a global economy.
The term MOOC stands for massive open online course, and so this GLU MOOC is a real opportunity for trade unionists globally to get to grips with the issues of securing workers' rights globally.
The course summary is:
Rights and dignity at the workplace are fundamental human rights. However, workers’ rights continue to be violated every day - millions of people worldwide are facing exploitative working hours, poverty wages, humiliation and mistreatment at work. There are estimates that today’s world has a higher number of slaves than any other time in history.
This MOOC discusses what Global Workers’ Rights are and which instruments and strategies can be used to implement them. Based on a careful mix of video lectures, readings, online resources and interviews with activists and labour scholars from around the world, you will gain both knowledge and practical skills for furthering workers’ rights worldwide.
At the end of the course you will understand the history and concept of global workers’ rights and the institutional structure of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the key player in setting International Labour Standards. You will be able to join the economic debate about labour standards and competitiveness, and understand the concepts behind the fundamental rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.
You will understand the different approaches for realizing decent work in the informal economy and gain an overview of instruments and initiatives beyond the ILO. The course also allows you to apply this knowledge to a practical case from your country and gain skills and competencies for using the existing instruments and mechanisms for protecting workers’ rights.
This is a fantastic opportunity for trade unionists to get to grips with one of the most profound challenges we face.
You can sign up for the course here:
And there is an introductory YouTube video here:
Posted by Ian Manborde at 11:24
Sunday, 22 March 2015
I've just finished an exhausting, but hugely rewarding weekend's teaching on the MA in international labour and trade union studies (ILTUS) at Ruskin.
A huge thanks to all who contributed. On Friday this was:
Sue Ledwith (creator of the MA and now Ruskin emeritus fellow) on the gender pay gap and its relationship with union leadership
Stephen Mustchin (Univ Manchester Business School) on international regulation and collective bargaining
A joint guest speaker session with
Becca Kirkpatrick (Citizens UK - Personal capacity) on a perspective of how/whether trade unions are achieve renewal through community unionism
Jane Holgate (Leeds Univ - via video interview) on the background to community unionism and whether this is a route to trade union renewal.
On Saturday this was:
Jo Cain (Head of LAOS, UNISON - Personal capacity) on culture, organisation and union leadership.
Jack Cao (Keele Univ) On workers' resistance in China.
The keynote event was Saturday night and the presentation by Ethel Buckley (Head of Campaigns at SIPTU) on the 2014 Greyhound lockout and the union's strategy to win.
Although I must thank all colleagues who contributed (and of course Fenella Porter who shares running the MA with me) over the weekend, the student feedback confirmed that it was Ethel's session which, as a form of praxis, brought the entire weekend's teaching session together.
Many thanks to Roger McKenzie (AGS UNISON) for getting off the ground the idea of an activist in residence and for Ethel to agree to spend 18-22 March in the UK spending time with UNISON branches in Oxon and at Ruskin.
Her presentation to the MA students on Saturday night about the strategy developed by SIPTU to overcome the workplace lockout at Greyhound refuse in Dublin in 2014 was an exemplar of how trades union can still beat overtly hostile employers in a legally and economically hostile climate.
A key theme of Ethel's was the need for trade unions to be as audacious as employers, and this was exemplified in how SIPTU worked closely with those communities affected by the lockout.
Before Ethel left Ruskin earlier today I read a short passage from Jonathan Rose's Intellectual Life of the British Working Class as I wanted to underline the need for the ILTUS programme at Ruskin and the activist in residence as a place/space for ideas to be shared in the context of Ruskin's tradition of trade union education.
The pictures below provide a small glimpse into the dynamism and excitement of the weekend.
|Construct a winning narrative: Ethel's first lesson for the group|
|Jack helping students to analyse worker resistance in China|
|Mary, Chilayi, Janet, Marie, Matt and Louise: Deep dissertation discussion!|
|Annie, Phil, Byron and Paul: Getting to grips with research questions|
|Nimisha and Marie: Making a start on research design|
|Ethel addresses the whole group|
Posted by Ian Manborde at 09:42
Sunday, 8 March 2015
Organising the Unorganisable? Voices from the bottom up: Researchers and Activists Forum on Precarious Work 23-24 April
Maurizio Atzeni has organised a fascinating, international line-up of speakers around the theme of workers' organisation and precarious work at Loughborough University 23-24 April.
The event reflects key themes of his last book (http://tinyurl.com/k5tbvpt) which is a result of the research arising from his Marie Curie Fellowship: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/inspire-08/bottom-up/
Maurizio taught on the MA ILTUS in October whilst there invited myself and students to attend the event to discuss how teaching trade unionists at Ruskin reflected/projected theory/practice around precarious work and organising.
The event details are below, and I welcome those who read this blog to come along. Please contact me for further details.
The organisation of work in Chilean Ports and dockworkers organisation- Lucas Cifuentes, Advisor of the dockworkers Union/Universidad de Chile
Migrant organising in the UK-Gabriella Alberti, Univ. of Leeds and Independent workers of Great Britain; Joyce Jiang, Roehampton Univ. and J4DW (Justice for Domestic Worker)
Workers in retail distribution centres in the UK and in Italy- Workers' Initiative Poland (Inicjatywa Pracownicza), Angry Workers of the World, Devi Sacchetto Univ. of Padua/Connessioni Precarie and Giorgio Grappi, Università di Bologna/Coordinamento migranti di Bologna e di Connessioni precarie
Forced Labour in Brazil (and beyond), Fabiola Mieres, Durham University
Workers’organisation in textiles sweetshops in Argentina- Jeronimo Montero, Ministry of Labour and CONICET Argentina
Pedagogical insights of producing knowledge for and with activists and union organisers- Ian Manborde, Ruskin College, Oxford
Organising informal transport workers in developing countries- The Global Labour Institute and the International Transport Federation
Posted by Ian Manborde at 04:14