🥖 Work and Organised Labour 🌹

Chats around exploitation, resistance and class struggle within work.
Wider world & your own experiences, thoughts and feelings within organised and unorganised labour

Links to interesting things to read, watch and listen to!

NEWS! :star_struck:


Barbican stories is a collection of firsthand and witnessed accounts of racism and discrimination at the Barbican Centre in London

this looks good

Discrimination happens across multiple vectors at the Barbican: race, gender, class, sexuality, socio economic background, and disability. This book critiques the same system that lent zero support to its European employees when Brexit was voted for in 2016, the system that does not supply adequate support for someone coming back to work from maternity leave and the system that uses exploitative zero hour contracts to minimise their responsibility as employers.


quite good inspo for any of you who write

Currently trying to get the authorities’ help with getting paid an extra £5000 (!) from where I was working last summer (only for two months, and still, £5000 short). Those people clearly either didn’t really know about our fairly thorough Working Environment Act, or just thought it didn’t apply to them, or that no one would bother to take them up on it. Don’t know which is worse, really.

Lots of young people with no previous work experience there as well which makes it even worse, as they can just keep doing what they do and no one will speak up because they don’t know any better. Last summer there were three of us aged 30+ and we three were very frustrated and unhappy.

I’ve now sent all my documentation etc to what we call a Conciliation Board, don’t know what the UK equivalent is. Very interested to see how it progresses from here.

Labour laws etc are mostly very well regulated here and the unions are very strong, but sadly those of us who work mostly freelance/are self-employed are left a bit on the outside so I wasn’t in a union or anything at the time.




Yeah, looks similar to their dispute thing!

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The union person in my workplace used to be… not great: nearing retirement, and the only time I ever heard her mention the union was when telling someone off for taking a union-branded mug from a storeroom. Then two younger, more left and active people became union reps, and they brought a lot of people on board, myself included. We were then able to organise to get my whole team regraded w/ a payrise, something that had been dangled for years with no clear timeline, while also persuading our employer to extend one colleagues fixed term contract.

I know they aren’t perfect and I know they don’t fit everyone in every industry, but I would strongly recommend joining a union if you are able. Don’t talk to HR when you could talk to your union.


Yep, it’s not even controversial or conspiratorial to say that HR departments aren’t on your side: they literally are on the side of the organisation, that’s the whole point. Nothing wrong with that, but it can be terrible when people don’t understand that function.

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uk hospitality have always been a lobbying group for bosses but still funny to see them come out and say it

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reminds me how many hospitality jobs ads basically say “it’s dangerous to do a closing shift here and that’s your problem to deal with”

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My Conciliation Board meeting is today! I’m not personally attending it, as I’m not required to by law (as the one who has made the complaint; my former employer has to be personally present), and I have a close family member who works in a union so knows the rules quite well etc. and were willing to represent me.

I think we’ve a really good case which from a legal perspective should be a no-brainer, so now it just remains to be seen what the good citizens of the Board make of it :upside_down_face:


Assuming that out of PCS, Prospect and FDA I should join PCS? Seems like I’m eligible for all of them (not sure if the Keystone part of FDA is separate or just a sub group?) but only the former has any real consideration of wider issues.


I also weighed up Prospect and PCS.

Not being party affiliated was a deciding part of whether I joined or not.

Went with Prospect in the end, with no regret, despite then not being one of the ‘recognised’ unions where I work. They’ve been able to help out and provide useful reassurance with a re-banding procedure at my workplace.

Would’ve gone with the Wobblies otherwise, I reckon

Can’t recall if I had anything specific against PCS. Mark Serwotka seems ok, maybe, but his wife seems severely objectionable.

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Yeah, I’ll have a think and a read up (all 3 are recognised). Just feel a bit iffy with the lack of solidarity for lower paid workers that comes with Prospect/FDA. All three are recognised. As you mentioned, there’s definitely some stuff around PCS that makes me go :face_with_raised_eyebrow: though.

Oh, and thank you :+1:

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After weeks of being good I went on Mmsnt yesterday and saw a thread saying most of the big unions (including the one I was planning on joining) have gender critical groups. Not sure if these are officially sanctioned or not but it’s making me really uncomfortable to be a part of something which has an organised group of people actively campaigning for the union / workplaces to remove provisions for trans people.