Want higher pay? Join a union (or move to London): The public-private pay gap explained

Hey, you know that rightwing hobby horse about public sector pay in the UK being too high because wages are generally higher than in the private sector? (Incidentally, if your response here is “but I thought rightwingers were meant to be against levelling down?” then you may have forgotten how the right argued that cutting […]

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Michael Meacher: Ed Miliband moving Labour in the right direction

With the Labour Party conference in full swing, socialists and trade unionists will be seizing on every word spoken from the podium, looking for signs of what kind of government Miliband might lead. But one Old Labour MP who was in government with Wilson and Callaghan, and again with Blair as Minister of State for […]

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A tanker drivers’ strike is exactly what the government wants

On the face of it, the government all but telling everyone to panic-buy fuel looks like a massive blunder. Spokespeople for both the petrol industry and the AA have said as much, and in most circumstances creating a nationwide fuel shortage out of nothing is a pretty stupid thing to do. But I don’t think […]

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Union leaders aren’t the paymasters of the Labour party, and it wouldn’t matter if they were

It’s no secret that things haven’t been great for the trade union movement in recent years, but sometimes it’s easy to forget quite how bad things are until you realise that so many apparently intelligent people in public life don’t even have the faintest idea of what they are or how they function. This was […]

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Labour and the unions: reasons not to be cheerful

Paul Kenny is right. The Tories will be rubbing their hands with glee at the current spat between Labour and the unions. But they won’t be doing so simply because Ed Balls’ now-notorious speech to the Fabian Conference is a sign that Labour support the government’s cuts agenda – while neither the speech itself nor […]

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Mark Serwotka vs. Francis Maude on Newsnight: (near-)flawless victory

H/t to Socialist Unity for this. Tails off a bit towards the end, but there’s a lot to enjoy here. Highlights include Serwotka correcting Maude on the inaccuracies in his claims about pensions, explicitly accusing him of lying about the numbers of civil servants who went on strike, and Maude trying and miserably failing to […]

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An open letter to everyone who isn’t going on strike tomorrow

It’s pretty much certain that tomorrow’s strikes – which I’ll be taking part in – are going to be seriously disruptive for a lot of people. I’m sorry about that. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, and I’m pretty sure everyone else taking action feels the same way.  Unfortunately it’s pretty much […]

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Union leader wins appeal against conviction for picket line assault

Steve Hedley – the London organiser for the RMT – has won his appeal, after being wrongly convicted of assaulting a TFL manager on a picket line. Earlier this year I interviewed Steve at a picket line at Finsbury Park station. Having been to quite a few pickets in my time, it was unusual to […]

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Strike Bingo!

It’s hip, it’s fun, it’s the new craze everyone’s talking about, it’s…Strike Bingo! Easy to play whenever strikes are discussed in the news! All you need is a keen eye for politics and current affairs and a national media with an overt bias against organised labour – it couldn’t be easier! So sharpen your pencils, […]

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Four Things You Can Do To Support The Strikes

On June 30th, around 1,000,000 people in the UK will go on strike. This means that most people will also know someone who is going on strike – teachers, civil servants, lecturers, council workers, etc. However, it also means that 64,000,000 people won’t be going on strike, but many will want to support it somehow. […]

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