John Harris

Journalist & Author

Involved in the trade union movement? | John Harris

An anti-cuts march next month will be led by trade unions. Please share your experiences of unions with us

On Saturday 26 March, thousands of people will march through London to protest against the cuts, in a demonstration staged by the organisations who currently sit at the centre of so many news stories: the trade unions. Their supposed decline into irrelevance has been forecast for decades, but they are still here; and in times like these (as I argued in this Comment is free piece) they represent by far the strongest source of opposition to the government – which may be why the coalition is considering fresh anti-union legislation.

With all that in mind, we want to focus our next Anywhere but Westminster film and article on the unions’ grassroots: the shop stewards, reps and officials who see to things well away from the attentions of the media, and often have a clear understanding of where Britain is heading. A good example: this week, David Cameron has announced plans to outsource and privatise just about every conceivable part of the public sector – a direction of travel with which thousands of union activists have been familiar for years.

So, an appeal for testimony and information. Are you a trade union activist? Are you trying to form a union in your workplace? Are you involved in a dispute or grievance with your employer (whether public or private) that says something about the role unions play in the economy and society, and why millions of people would be lost without them? Or are you dissatisfied with your trade union and think it needs reform in some way? If so, we’d like to hear from you, either via the thread below, or at anywherebutwestminster@gmail.com.

Obviously, we expect the cuts to loom large here, but we’re equally interested in other issues that might be at stake.

John Domokos and I will be checking the thread and posting at regular intervals. Now, over to you …

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