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Young Workers, Collective Voice and #LikeASwede



In this week’s Unions21 podcast we learn some vital lessons from both home and abroad. Director Becky Wright has returned from visiting Swedish union federation TCO – creators of the wonderful #LikeASwedevideos – inspired by their cinnamon rolls, “aching coolness” (her words, not mine) and an organising culture to die for.  Anyone who sets a recruitment target of 100,00 new members in a country with a population of 9m – and then exceeds that by two-and-a-half times, is surely worth listening to


Our special guest is Dr Andy Hodder from the University of Birmingham Business School. Andy’s work on why the internet and digital media is an unfilled promise for unions, and the balance between autonomy and control in young members’ sections is right at the centre of some key, unavoidable and tricky debates we are having in the labour movement.  He talks to us about his international collaborations too, which certainly gives us in the UK pause for thought.


And this week saw the launch of the Unions21 Commission on Collective Voice. Much needed and long awaited, it’s mission is, not so much toexplore strange new worlds. (orseek out new life and new civilizations) but to build the argument for a public policy in support of collective voice.


This is surely an idea whose time has come – there is cross party support for the view that collective voice is a good thing.  And the chances of a resurgence in the coverage of collective bargaining (which I know id not exactlythe same things collective voice) happening organically are not at all good.  Commissioners Baroness Margaret Prosser and Prospect’s Mike Clancy give us their views.


All in all, a delightfully full episode with much to think about.  It’s certainly one that you cannot afford to miss.  Available on iTunes, from Podbeanand the Unions21site.

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