Labor Movement’s Role in Elections

It’s almost September, and campaigns (and fundraising) for the next election cycle are well on their way. One thing that we’ve learned in the past eight months is that a lot can change in a short period of time. For me, two phenomena come to mind: the Arab Spring and One Wisconsin. Contrary to the […]

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Wei Ji: uprising in China and crisis as laboratory

The financial crisis and the resulting job and budget cuts means there is an urgent need for consolidated action by unions. We are also seeing web 2.0 tools making coordination between union activists easier than ever before. This is a perfect storm of circumstance, and we are likely to see trade union activists make increased […]

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Bottom up vs Top down renewal

In looking at the potential of ICTs for union renewal and revitalisation, we need to look at unions as both collections of people, and as organisations. Which part of the union are we seeking to revitalise? The interests of these two groups are not necessarily the same – in fact, they can be diametrically opposed […]

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Strategic use of ICTs can revitalise trade unions

The potential offered by ICTs to revitalise unions is vast. Internet culture tends towards egalitarianism, and ICTs facilitate iconoclasm, which can undermine oligarchies. Secondly, ICTs facilitate autonomous organising by allowing activists to communicate directly with each other (and members) without the mediation of the union machine. Both are essential to renewal. ICTs have the potential […]

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Trade union crisis and the potential for renewal

Trade unions are in crisis, due to a combination of external factors (political attack, globalisation and changes to the mode of production), and internal factors (rigidity and an inability to adapt to changed circumstances). With regard to external factors, there has been an ideological attack on the raison d’etre of trade unions, the belief in […]

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Can new technologies revitalise trade unions?

Trade unions have been in decline for a generation, losing members, power and influence. This is due to both external factors, generalised as ‘globalisation’, compounded by what Richard Hyman calls the “conservative inertia” of many unions, and their failure to adapt to changed circumstances. Since the dawn of the Internet, new technologies have been heralded […]

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