Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
unions need to go back to their roots, their image in the public mind has been much tarnished.
it's not just how to sell them as a good idea, a PR makeover, it's telling the history of their formation, paens to Keir Hardie etc.

and the patient recounting of how they were the only power the poor downtrodden sections of the workforce were ever able to use in order to move the proletariat out of the Dickensian conditions they suffered under, into a newly burgeoning middle class.

too many people think of corruption as soon as they think of the word 'union', yet in order to champion their electorate union spokesmen/women/leaders, they need to be smarter than the bosses, often with much lesser education to help them speechify convincingly.

re-reading Keir Hardie's biography, and maybe making an animated version... I read it in my teens, and later when JL spoke about 'working class hero' I knew exactly what he meant thanks to that book.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Mar 16th, 2011 at 07:10:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Online communities are a new type of union. Solidarity = community.

As you know, my view is that instead of keeping rapacious companies in check by the threat of withdrawal of labour, the future is not to hit them on the production side by strikes: the international mobility of companies means they just go find more amenable labour.

The power lies in the withdrawal of purchase. Companies cannot go and find another consumer audience.

Unions still have an important role to play because they are inside the corporate machine. They remain the frontline of negotiation. But they have to learn (as being discussed here) to harness the game-changing possibilities of much larger communities online.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i totally agree. the power of avaaz, greenpeace et al is already impressive with regards to petitions, as expression of online community.

the next step of global consumer boycotts looks tantalisingly within future reach...

then you'd see some more justice, although companies like monsanto have previewed this, by locking in 3rd world farmers to contracts, driving many to suicide.

poor sods...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 02:21:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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