New Internationalist

The Complete Trade Unionist

Issue 117

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GLOBAL TRADE UNIONISM[image, unknown] An NI Guide

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The complete trade unionist

A New Internationalist guide to the equipment that every trade unionist should have.

The complete trade unionist STRIKE/STOPPAGE/SIT-IN
A multi purpose tool with interchangeable attachments. Very adaptable but needs reliable power supply to operate.

OVERTIME BAN
A lightweight tool which has irritant effect

BLACKING GOODS
Cutting bif supply of vital goods to factories can cripple production

PICKETING
Delivers a telling blow in the hands of the skilled worker. So feared by employers and governments.

INTERNATIONAL LINKS
Used to adjust nuts and bolts on the global assembly line. Workers need efficient international mechanisms when dealing with multinationals.

CLOSED SHOP
Essential for survival on dangerous working sites. Having all workers covered by the union protects union leaders from nasty flying objects like victimisation by hostile employers. It also reinforces worker solidarity and maintains union bargaining power. Convenient for many employers because union discipline ensures observance of agreements.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTECTION
Regulations and special equipment are needed on potentially unhealthy or dangerous work sites. Enforced by union-appointed Health and Safety Officer.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
This covers the whole body of workers’ interests — a series of negotiations that weaves together everything from working hours to sick pay into a tough, durable fabric.

POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS
Union funds and votes are used to get a grip on political parties. Very important because labour laws and government economic policies can also cramp workers’ aspirations.

INFORMATION
To plan ahead rather than just respond to management decisions, unions need information such as company profits, wage levels, investment and production plans.


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