This paper explores the theory and practice of community unionism. It is now widely argued that if trade unions are to reach employees in small workplaces, those on part‐time or temporary contracts, and women, black and ethnic minority workers, they need to sustain alliances beyond the walls of the workplace. Increasing the scale of political mobilization in this way can help secure trade union organization amongst new groups of workers while giving unions the power to raise questions of economic and social justice at a wider scale. After summarizing current developments in North America, the paper focuses on the situation in the UK in more detail. By highlighting the pioneering community unionism of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation (ISTC) and Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council (BWTUC), the paper explores the implications of community unionism for the future of trade unionism in the UK.
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2001
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