05.11.2015 / News /
In his article “Wobbling to Victory” in Union Solidarity International Dek Keenan asks: Are militant unions anarchist wreckers or the future of the labour movement?
Here is what he has to say about UVW “In London, new unions such as the United Voices of the World (UVW) …. have been at the forefront of precarious, out-sourced and greatly migrant labour struggles. Recent high profile fights for the Living Wage, for sick pay and the reinstatement of union activists at the Barbican and at Sotheby’s auction house have brought the UVW into the media spotlight.”
Evaluating the work of new, grassroots trade unions around the world, including UVW, he draws the following conclusion:
What is notable about these new unions is that, against the odds, they have actually been winning. The victories are often achieved through a combination of imaginative direct action, building solidarity alliances with social movement actors, an intelligent use of social media and a form of unionism which has put active membership participation at its centre. Workers in these unions tend to see ‘the union’ as their own collective creation and activity. Their relationship to ‘the union’ is not one of passivity. They do not wait to have things done for them, but use their organisational structures to do things for themselves. This sort of unionism, which in some ways is only possible because members and activists are not mired in traditional trade union practice, has all the hallmarks of that much maligned variant of worker organisation known as syndicalism.