Just a brief post before I sign off for a couple of weeks for a holiday with my family. Very happy to stay in the Uk to support the economy, although will be doing the usual and asking bar/hotel staff how they are employed and if they've heard of a union. Although the replies/discussion is not often what I want to hear the many young people (and usually it is younger workers employed seasonally) I speak to yearn for better work and standards.
It is for these reasons that I remain ever optimistic of a future for organised labour and so want to leave readers with a good news story, as there are always plenty if you look.
And so over in the US we have been witnessing the rise of strike action, and other forms of mobilisation, on the part of fastfood workers - and as ever, from a UK perspective it if a form of action well worth observing and analysing for lessons to be learnt.
One of these is how much easier it is in the UK for pro-labour coalition bodies to emerge to develop and sustain such campaigns. Although we are witnessing this more in the UK now (witness London Citizens, People's Assembly etc) the US has a history of spontaniety and vibrance that we would do well to embrace and replicate.
Jobs with Justice (http://www.jwj.org/about/index.html) is a relatively new coalition of organisations with a strict focus on justice for workers, and they have grown rapdily on the back of a series of successes aross the UK - follow the link to read more.
There is a detaield news report on the fastfood action and the role of JWJ, and other organisations here: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/15366/fast_food_slow_burn/
As we approach in the UK the 30th anniversary of the miners' strike it is important that we look widely and broadly for the means to recapture a means to pursue a concerted, direct response to a Conservative government in power hell bent again on destroying the culture, spirit and institutions of the working class. The lessons are in the UK, but they are being played out elsewhere also.