The all-things-union podcast from Makes You Think
International solidarity and saving lives at work - w/Owen Tudor
With Simon Sapper, Mel Simms and Josiah Mortimer.
International Trade Union Confederation Deputy General Secretary Owen Tudor gives us a tour of the global trade union landscape, and the ITUC’s key campaign priority of reducing deaths at work. It is a sobering landscape with 5 workplace deaths per minute each and every day
Commemorations for the forthcoming International Workers Memorial Day on 28 April are an important part of the campaign as well as being important in and of themselves – and studies from North America have shown how unionised workplaces offer better health and safety for customers and clients as well las the workforce.
Professor Mel Simms’s #thought4the week” looks at how the Government’s budget last week was a missed opportunity when it comes to the greening of work and workplaces – and why that is so important to Unions.
Plus, Josiah Mortimer’s weekly. #RadicalRoundUp, some exciting new research on union effectiveness from Unite, and a shout out to Health unions protesting in response to a 1% pay offer from Government, with national slow-handclaps to show disapproval announced by Unison.
Companion blog is here. This episode is the last of the current series, but we shall return. While we’re taking a break, you can still email us - email@example.com – tweet us @DuesUnion. We are part of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. A Makes-You-Think production.
Jobs, dignity and public service broadcasting - w/Philippa Childs
In this week’s UnionDues we have an in-depth chat with Philippa Childs, head of media union Bectu
As well as most of Bectu’s substantial freelance members being excluded from government Covid support schemes, there is a new hit as post-Brexit bureaucracy stymies work opportunities in mainland Europe.
The culture of broadcasting, and the media in general, is also very much in Bectu’s sights and tacking the lack of respect and the intersection of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and other protected characteristics is at the forefront of Bectu’s work.
As you would expect, she is also passionate about the importance of public service broadcasting in general and the BBC in particular.
We also have a barnstorming #thought4theweek with Prof. Mel Simms, reflecting this week that having a seat at the table is just as important as what we say when we ‘re sat down at it.
Plus LFF’s very own Josiah Mortimer previews his #RadicalRoundUp – including structural racism in the UK labour market, dodgy car makers, and living wage employers who, er, don’t want to pay the living wage.
A Makes You Think production. Companion blog available here
Working safely with Covid, Uber rebuffed and other issues
The latest UnionDues podcast is dominated by two issues everyone is talking about.
The Supreme Court ruling last week that Uber drivers are indeed workers and not self-employed - It’s a great victory for the GMB and ADCU but in her #Thought4The Week, Mel Simms argues that strong collective bargaining trumps judicial decisions.
The other issue remains Covid. The PM’s statement yesterday encourages us to look to a brighter future but the reality of trying to work safely in a pandemic is the preoccupation of a new publication from the Labour Research Department. It’s author, Andrea Oates, is our special guest.
Plus Josiah Mortimer’s #RadicalRoundUp. A Makes-You-Think production
What price Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity?
In the latest UnionDues podcast, we look at members’ networks as a way of meeting the challenges of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, focussing on the pharmacists’ union the PDAU. Their networks have blossomed since being established last year. But you have to pay to join them, and they’re open to non-members. How can this work? We talk to officials and equality activists to find out this is changing not just the union but the whole sector.
Also in this episode, Mel Simms deals with the risks of employee surveillance in an age of home-working in her #thought4theweek. We shout out to Openreach engineers in dispute. And Josiah Mortimer shares his #RadicalRoundUp – including collapsing union confidence in government Covid response, important developments in the Heathrow Airport #FireAndRehire dispute, and students and unions at SOAS demand a better deal from university authorities.
The UnionDues podcast is part of the Labor Radio Podcast network.
Read the companion blog here. A Makes You Think production
Can mediation deliver a new industrial revolution? - w/David Liddle
In the latest UnionDues podcast, we take a deep dive into the world of mediation. And goodness knows we need to, because unresolved conflict is reported to cost UK businesses £33bn a year. That’s not to mention the stress and misery that unresolved conflict causes workers and their unions. Is beefed up mediation a way forward?
Rising to this challenge is David Liddle, a vastly experienced mediator and CEO of the TCM group. And he’s clear that mediation isn’t just (or even) about reaching agreement. “Whether people agree or not is irrelevant, “ he says “the point is to disagree well.”
The HR community also do not escape scathing scrutiny, responsible, according to David, for “fanning the flames of fury and anger” with a procedure-driven, litigation-centred approach supported by grievance and discipline policies that “are the antithesis of everything that makes a good human being.”
Prof. Mel Simms looks at the importance of evidence-based policy making, and how easy it is to be distracted in her latest Thought for The Week, Josiah Mortimer previews this week’s Radical Round Up and we look at the GMB’s great campaign to dissuade British Gas from their “fire-and-rehire” proposals.
Companion blog here. Music by Scott Holmes. A Makes-You-Think production
The battle for workplace skills and learning
The latest UnionDues podcast focusses on the key union and economic concern of workplace skills and how to get them. Very timely given news of a forthcoming government White Paper on skills for jobs which will give employers a direct role in designing new qualifications starting with the post-16 age band.
But…..will employers be able to respond? In her regular Thought For The Week, Professor Mel Simms spots a flaw – and a challenge – with the government’s approach.
And special guest Kevin Rowan talks about the TUC-led campaign to change the government’s mind about cutting funding to the Union Learning Fund.
With Josiah Mortimer's Radical Roundup. Companion blog here. Music by Scott Holmes. A Makes You Think production
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Picking up where the Unions21 podcast left off, this series is made for and by trade unionists and all those who have a connection with or interest in the the labour movement. There’s nothing else quite like it.