Thursday, 30 April 2009

Modern Times


Back from France and straight into the thick of it.

On Tuesday I was with colleagues from UNITE, UCATT, PCS etc. in Birmingham at lunchtime marking our respect for International Workers' Memorial Day.

It is a highly poignant day and reminds us all of one of the primary reasons why we as trade unionists exists.

I was really pleased that most of the UNISON activists I was teaching that day came along to the event next to the Cathedral in Birmingham.

Please let me know what events you attended across the UK.

Many thanks


Friday, 10 April 2009

French Trade Unionism: The Way Forward?


From tomorrow I am away to the French Republic for two weeks of lazing about and attempts at cultural refinement.

At the same time I am going to try follow the growth in the French tradition of bossnapping - as it is being called in the UK.

Today's Guardian reports on the latest manifestation of this tried and trusted method of arbitration:

The latest case involved three British managers of Scapa Group plc who have just been released.

Naturally Sarkozy condemns this form of action but the Guardian quite rightly recognises its historical importance in the trade union struggle:

The tactic, which became popular during the tumultuous days of 1968, is an extreme yet common measure used sporadically by unhappy French workers. Reserved for when other more orthodox forms of protest are going nowhere, bossnapping is the final card played by a workforce at the end of its tether.

Could such a thing catch on in the UK?

Au Reviour