Trade union flash mobs – a new organising tactic?

Trade union campaigns often seem to be stuck in the last century. It’s no wonder we struggle to attract young members: too often, it looks like we’re trying to recruit them to go back to 1983. We’re seldom innovative when it comes to using new organising tactics, or taking into account the fact that many […]

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Trade Unions, Web 2.0 and Social Media

Here is a presentation I created for a union conference. It aims to give union reps an overview of using new technology for organising. Please feel free to reuse and adapt it if you find it useful. The presentation can be downloaded directly from the link below. Trade unions, Web 2.0 and Social Media

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Research: how do union activists use new technologies?

I am interested in finding out how trade union activists are using the Internet, new technologies and social media for union organising. Are you creating Facebook groups?  Using twitter hashtags to raise awareness about critical issues? Signing LabourStart action alerts? Are you creating YouTube videos? Using email lists, blogs and wikis? What works best? What […]

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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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Are FOSS and Creative Commons important for unions?

“The new order is predicated upon open access, decentralized participation, and cheap and easy sharing.” (David Bollier) The Commons Movement is a political, ecological and cultural movement to reclaim the Commons. Its central principle is that the resources of the earth – the Commons – are the collective responsibility and property of all. This includes […]

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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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An introduction to Web 2.0 for trade union activists

New technologies offer trade unionists opportunities to reach out to workers in new ways. In the past, we have often complained that the mainstream media often seems anti-union, and that the only time you read about unions in the papers is when there’s a strike. The media seems to ignore all the other important work […]

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