Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Unite Here!


I had this week an e-mail from a close friend in the US who is allied to the coalition of organisations behind the labour organising movement Unite Here!

Our American sisters and brothers allied to Unite Here are worthy of our attention not least because their organising drives engage younger, creative, vibrant mechanisms to draw attention to their work and hit hard at employer exploitation.

The latest manifestation of their creative talents is a flashmob assault on a notoriously anti-union hotel. Have a look at the flashmob event and see part of the future of organising:


What I particularly like about this organisation is their essential zeal to combine the very best of traditional, in your face, organising tools with web-based information dissemination strategies.

To see what I mean have a look at the allied web sites:



The overall message from Unite Here! is one of a sophisticated, integrated sectoral organising strategy, based on coalition building direct action initiatives with a core message driven across the web. I couldn't think of a better model of a way the way forward for the global labour movement.

Or am I wrong?

Please follow the links, view the video and tell me, what are the relative strengths and weaknesses of what Unite Here! are doing?




Alan said...


Very, very interesting!

If only the talent behind the US campaigns existed in the UK. I would love to see the kind of decentralised, freer movements that exist outside of the UK, behind, as you say, the pivotal driving force, behind organising strategy in those really challenging sectors like hotels and catering.

Thanks for the info.


Paulski said...

Ian -

What thoughts on a Labour Party under Millipede? What trend does he represent? A seperate entry required for this, perhaps.

Sorry pal. Just realised that I've set you an essay.

Ian Manborde said...


Many thanks for the comment, despite its essay heading-like nature.

The older of the Millipede's in particular is far too closely associated with the New Labour Blairite machine to sufficienty been seen as distinct both ideologically and in practice. He can't ride the New Labour wagon for so long, as be at its core, to be then (as he doing now) to say that that particular 'project' is done and dead.

You cannot (I hope) fool the electorate that easily, and all being well (not least for his sanity) he shouldn't be convincing himself that this is the situation also.

Despite my reticence brother I am, as you know, more hopeful about the prospects of the Labour Party now, than I have been for some time.

There is a wealth of experience out there, from the successful aspects of Labour's general election campaign, that promises a reconnection with, for example, those who are party members by virtue of their trade union membership.

Similarly, the absolute beating that the BNP got in Dagenham has much to tell us abour grassroots, community-based organising, and also that that engages previously disenfrachised white, working class communities.

All of this is the right trajectory for us, even whilst in opposition.

Let us use the next five years strategically brother and then, in 5 years come, out all guns blazing as the only, truly radical alternative to the Con-Dem(ned) collaborators.



Alan said...


I agree, let's spend a while preparing for a bloody good assult on the coalition come the next general election.


Adam Smith said...

Yeah, so at the flashmob event simply see part. I guess seeing part's just a law of nature