Steven.'s blog

Unison paid officials caught sabotaging leadership election

Crooked bureaucrat: Linda Perks

A whistleblower within Unison's London region has leaked an audio recording of a meeting of paid officials flagrantly breaching the union's rules by working for the election campaign of the incumbent general secretary, Dave Prentis.

The schoolchildren's strikes, 1889 - Steven Johns

Contemporary engraving depiction of the 1889 schoolchildren's strike

A brief history of walkouts of schoolchildren across the UK in October 1889 against corporal punishment and excessive workloads.

Unison activists vote to reopen 2015 pay dispute

Unison Special Local Government Conference, 24 March 2015

In an almost unprecedented move, rank-and-file Unison representatives in councils and schools voted in a special conference earlier today to tear up the 2014-16 pay deal which union leaders drew up with Labour Party officials and submit a new pay claim on top.

The Christmas truce, 1914 - Steven Johns

British and German troops fraternise, Boxing Day 1914

A short history of the widespread but unofficial truce between British and German troops on the Western front over Christmas, 1914 during World War I.

10 reasons to support the firefighters' strikes

Firefighters in England today walked out on strike for 24 hours in the latest of a series of stoppages in a dispute over massive attacks by the government on their pensions: particularly increasing the retirement age from 55 to 60. Here are the top 10 reasons you should support the firefighters.

"Leave it to the professionals": on paid union organisers

A response to a blog criticising the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union for not making enough use of paid organisers and officials. With animated gifs.

Advice for workers suffering from repetitive strain injury (RSI)

Employment-related advice for workers who begin to suffer from a repetitive strain condition, from a union representative who has RSI.

Review: The deconstruction of professor Thrub - DD Johnston

The deconstruction of professor Thrub

Steven Johns reviews the ambitious second novel of DD Johnston which follows a young woman on a riproaring ride through 20th-century history from the Belfast outdoor relief agitation to Spain during the civil war and Budapest in 1956.

10 reasons communism will win

Ke$ha: communism will win.

The top ten reasons to be optimistic, politically, no matter how bad the situation seems at present.

Unison instructs its members to enforce the bedroom tax

The UK's largest public sector union, Unison, has issued guidance to its members advising them to enforce the hated bedroom tax.

"The fight of our lives": An analysis of the UK pensions dispute

Steven Johns' detailed account of how Unison has handled the recent dispute over pensions. It sheds light on the role unions play in contemporary society, and argues that if ever us workers are going to start winning things again, we will have to go beyond them.

Unison officials spy on their own activists to ensure yes vote on pensions

Unison's paradoxical pensions propaganda

As it is announced that the majority of Unison members have voted in line with the union's recommendation to accept the new pensions deal, libcom.org has obtained a leaked e-mail from a senior Unison official instructing organisers to spy on branches and individual activists who campaigned for a no vote.

Cop watch link dump

Blog post for people to post links to stories about police brutality and violence. Trigger warning for police violence and sexual violence.

Vidal Sassoon, "anti-fascist warrior hairdresser", dies

Vidal Sassoon, the celebrity hairdresser and one-time militant in the anti-fascist 43 Group, has died aged 84.

New public sector walkout over pensions set for May 10 (with updates)

Civil servants and health workers in the PCS and Unite unions, respectively are set to strike on May 10 against the government's slashing of public and private sector pensions. Unison, the biggest union, won't be with them.

A worker's critique of parecon

Criticism of the idea of participatory economics, or parecon, from the perspective of a worker. Despite its theoreticians' grand plans, we resist work now and we would continue to do so under parecon, Steven argues. Michael Albert subsequently responds.

Do we only love unions when they strike? Response to a defence of trade unionism

Steven Johns responds to an article in Freedom newspaper by Ewa Jasiewicz defending trade unionism and arguing that its critics "can undermine workers in struggle".

Office worker's survival guide

The modern office is fraught with dangers. From the risk of getting fired, to stress, repetitive strain injury (RSI), mindnumbing boredom and more. This helpful guide from libcom.org will help you navigate these hazards to a happy work life, and perhaps a slightly better world...

Co-operatives, capitalism and the IWW

Blog entry critiquing a promotional graphic of the revolutionary union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) comparing a capitalist coffee shop with a co-operative one.