As we come to the end of this year’s HeartUnions week, the latest Unions21 podcastlooks at some of the many things that have been going on to highlight the good and wonderfully varied things that unions do.
The week was immediately preceded by the excellent news that the GMB and Hermes couriers had reached a really innovative deal. Becky and I rake over the coals of this on the podcast, but you can find more details here. (And for more on what we do about exploitative zero-hour contracts, it’s worth looking at the Low Pay’ Commissions’ reporton one-side flexibility at work)
We also gave a willing name-check to the latest Employment Relations journal – stuffed full of great content from many people regular listeners to the podcast will be familiar with – Paul Nowak, Andy Hodder, Mel Simms, Jane Holgate, Carl Roper, Kate Bell, Alex Wood, Chris Wright and many others. Best of all, this is downloadable free from publisher Emerald Insight– but only for a limited period.
We highlighted some live disputes, particularly Unite’s strugglewith Birmingham City Council in defence of fair treatment for bin-workers, and the Musicians’ Union’s musical flashmobin protest at cuts to music lessons in Midlothian.
But it is a week where things are not always as straight-forward as they seem. The TUC’s excellent Megaphoneproject – a new campaign-orientated website – also highlighted their “which union is right for you to join” portal. The STUC’s. “Behind Closed Circuits”. Conferencewas a great initiative in itself – but also one ITVpicked up in a rare example of mainstream news channels covering union stories that are not about strikes.
Our prize for best HeartUnion effort? It goes to Equity– but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out why. There’s something of a clue in the featured image taken from the union’s twitter feed. And it’s nothing to do with 007.
Join the conversation – you can listen here (and on iTunes, Spotify and Mixcloud)