Category organising

when work is too demeaning for robots

Get a human to do it. Indeed as The Nation article says – some of the “requesters”, the people who actually offer tiny bits of tedious piecework to a vast mob of competing – desperate – workers are actually just computer scripts outsourcing work they cannot do. The site they’re talking about is Amazon’s Mechanical […]

What is a social movement?

And is Momentum the leading grouping behind Jeremy Corbyn a social movement or something else? Stephen Lambert makes some interesting points here about the nature of social movements, splitting them into pre and post-Sixties types; which I think is quite useful in understanding them. I’ve also been thinking about social movements because of of the […]

sharing economy?

I’ve touched on the subject of Uber and Airbnb previously, if somewhat briefly. Well David Bollier recently highlighted this report on a genuinely cooperative sharing economy from the Rosa Luxumbourg Siftung. Well worth a read – workers can compete on a level playing field while organising our selves.

cooperation and solidarity in austerity Britain

I was struggling to think of an apt title for this post and may yet come back and edit it. I wanted to write this on New Year’s Eve, eve because while politically it may seem like the future in the short to medium term is bleak to some readers, and for others there may […]

Panics and splits? Or not.

So the Labour leadership election, following the epic and some might say unpredicted by many defeat in May. The media and the Tories and mischief makers of all sorts have been predicting that given the seemingly poles apart positions of the supporters of Kendall and Corbyn it’s impossible for a single party to contain their […]

immigration and social solidarity

This is an old blog post on the LSE Europp blog, but it’s new to me so worth commenting on in my view. It refers to this paper by Brady and Finnigan which suggests that the old saw that immigration undermines public support for a decent welfare state is flawed. According to the authors: our […]

it’s been a while…

often the ominous title which bloggers use after they’ve drifted off for a bit and intend to attempt a come back before vanishing again for months on end. That is not my plan – indeed due to work pressures and a renewed focus on my creative writing blog, I don’t have the time to contribute […]

commitment and collective action in post industrial societies

I was listening to this lecture at work today by¬†Charles Heckscher from Rutgers University, talking about how solidarity and community has not gone away, it has however been radically transformed by de-industrialisation (at least in the Global North) and new social technologies. Well worth watching, I don’t endorse all of his conclusions but he makes […]

would you like your purchase wRAPped madam?

Via the magic of twitter I cam across this yesterday RAP is a project set up by unions and community organisations in New York, in conjunction with retail workers to help them organise with each other and their communities to improve conditions in their workplaces… Most of their campaigns seem to utilise the very interesting […]

main contractor liability in Sweden

According to the excellent Nordic Labour Journal the Swedish building worker’s union ‘Byggnads’ have won a major concession from the building industry. Essentially the union have negotiated an agreement for the official industry association (BI) to establish fund that would as a last resort pay the wages for work done to the employees of sub […]

are you dense or something?

The Austrians are. The chart in the linked pic comes from Matt Breunig here and is a response to a debate about union density and technology. Now Breunig deals quite nicely with the facts of union density and/or coverage and how they are not purely effected by global economic trends but indeed obviously behave as […]

social value – social capital

Last night I went to a talk hosted by the New Economy Organiser’s Network (NEON) which is a project by NEF . The talk was about how we can use the media to put across progressive or radical messages and compete with the right wing agenda of much of the mainstream media and their friends […]

was Ed Miliband wearing a black hoodie yesterday?

Shifting Grounds asked today Unsurprisingly their answer was no he wasn’t. However the key point for me in the article is to point out opposition parties love decentralisation, mutualisation, citizen power and all the rest of it, but as soon as they get in they either want to retain the control they’ve just won – […]

the need for self awareness

Compass recently published this article by Liam Barrington-Bush. He raises some interesting points although kind of mixes actual radicals with more moderate progressive types in order to make his point. The essential thrust of the article is two fold – the first I agree with wholeheartedly, it is absolutely correct to say that organisations that […]