Monday, 29 September 2008

Global Employment Trends 2008


I am just in the process of preparing for a workshop at Ruskin College with a visiting group of officers and activists from public sector unions in Nigeria.

A key theme will be an exploration of the key findings from the latest global employment trends research from the Inernational Labour Organisation (ILO).

You can see a sumamry of the research at:

One of the most worrying issues is the prediction that the current economic meltdown precipitates a massive increase globally in unemployment.

Here in the UK we can start to see the increases particularly as reported on a quarterly basis by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The national 'at a glance' is always useful:

More specifically we can see the immediate impact within the finance sector not least with job losses at Northern Rock and now Bradford and Bingley.

The issue for trade unions however, and particularly within the context of the UK, is whether this is necessarily bad news within the long-term debate around renewal of the trade union movement.

My particular question is that, despite immediate in terms of job losses, whether significant economic instabilty reaffirms with workers on a long-term basis the need to stabilise their employment position via trade union membership?

Naturally you have various equations that impact on this not least the relatively higher growth of jobs within the public sector and greater propensity in that sector for un/non-unionisation.

My question aside from this however is still, can economic slowdown be good in the long-term for union growth?

There is much academic literature on this point - send me a note if you are interested and I'll e-mail back some useful reading.

As usual, any comments, questions or just gripes are welcome.



Saturday, 20 September 2008

A Guide to Union Blogging


As those of you who visit this blog will know,I readily encourage activists to share information via these forums and I also encourage you to create your own blog.

To help you now get a sense of what's out there and how best to approach blogging the network for union blogging TIGMOO ( have produced a really helpful guide which you can download free from the site.

The approach to using electronic forums is one of the more interesting ways in which we can seek to stabilise and rejuvenate the movement. Please have a look at an earlier post about the India-based e-union to get a sense of what I mean.

Can I also ask you to have a look at and contribute to the blog that TIGMOO listed as the number 1 union blog in the UK Ian's Red Blog. There is a link to this from the links section of the blog.

Any questions or comments are welcome.



Thursday, 11 September 2008

Bereavement Leave


Until further notice I am on bereavement leave and won't be creating any new posts as a result.

Many thanks to those friends and associates who have passed on their condolences folllowing the death of my mother on 1st September.

Best wishes