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27 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
The GMB/Uber deal - how did it happen, what does it mean?
In this special episode, Simon chats with GMB National Organiser Martin Smith on his union's ground-breaking deal with Uber. A candid conversation about the opportunities and challenges of organising in a company known for its hostility to unions puts the deal in economic and historical context - and nothing is off-limits. A Makes-You-Think production. music by Scott Holmes. Companion blog here
40 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
This much we know - the union thirst for data
Featuring CSP Head of Data Jenny Andrew and Director of CSI (you'll have to listen to know what that stands for) Jon Mawby. Plus Mel Simms #thought4theweek on why Sustainable Development Goals matter to unions, Sam Johnson on the campaign to recognise the 1888 Matchgirls' strike, plus Josiah Mortimer and David Kerr with the #RadicalRoundUp. Companion blog at bit.ly/UDs4e4blog Music by Scott Holmes. A Makes You Think production
45 minutes | May 25, 2021
"We Are All From Somewhere!"
In this episode, Mel Simms reports from the front line of community activism on the links with trade unionism in #thought4theweek Simon chats with Alex Wilson and Jane Jones, two USDAW reps on the challenges shopworkers have faced during Covid and the union's success in recruiting and organising so many young workers. And Josiah Mortimer's #RadicalRoundUp has bad news on jobs but an important win from the North West. Companion blog here
56 minutes | May 11, 2021
Tech workers get unionised!
In a jam-packed episode, Simon chats with officers of the new Union of Tech and Allied Workers (UTAW) on organising successes, Mel Simms tackles the enigma of young workers in her #thought4theweek, Nathalie Towner of Labour Research gives us the low-down on negotiating for homeworking, and Josiah Mortimer brings us the #RadicalRoundUp. Companion blog here. Music by Scott Holmes. A Makes You Think production.
39 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Why unions need supply chain strategies - w/John Earls
UnionDues is back for our fourth series. Simon chats with Unite Director of Research John Earls about the necessity of a trade union approach to trade. You only need to recall the impact of the EverGiven getting stranded in the Suez Canal to recognise its importance. Unite’s strategy builds on the knowledge of its network of local representatives allied with checklists of what needs to be done to ensure the vice and well-being of workers is embedded in international supply chains. Also: Prof Melanie Simms looks at why the blame game between older and younger workers is a fundamental and damaging misunderstanding of issues that affect both groups. That’s in #Thought4TheWeek. Josiah Mortimer’s #RadicalRoundUp looks at industrial action at Liverpool University, employment rights for Addison Lee drivers, concerns over a new government Fire advisor, plus a ramping up of the campaign against the public and sector pay freeze. Plus arrangements for the important, poignant, annual Workers’ Memorial Day Companion blog available at /bit.ly/UDsupplychains. Part of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. Music by Scott Holmes. A Makes You Think production.
2 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
UnionDues Series 4 Trailer
UnionDues is back! series 4 drops on 27 April. This trailer tells you what we have in store! You can contact the show by mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting us @DuesUnion
46 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
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.
31 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
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
41 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
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
46 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
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
46 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
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
32 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
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
39 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Striking report on Unions and Covid - it's ok to innovate
With Simon Sapper, Melanie Simms and Josiah Mortimer.The first comprehensive survey of how union behaviour has been altered by Covid 19 is featured in the latest UnionDues podcast. Tom Hunt of the Sheffield Political Economic Research Institute and Becky Wright from Unions21 argue that while there are many more questions than answers, the willingness to explore and innovate is the true take-away from the pandemic. Do you agree? Mel Simms’s Thought For The Week focusses on sick pay and Britain’s culture of presentee-ism. Josiah Mortimer shares his radical round-up of stories you may have missed.Plus shout-outs to the FBU, Unison, RCN and RCM - all fighting for public safety and a fair deal and for their front line members.UnionDues is part of the Labour Radio Podcast Network. Music by Scott Holmes. Read the companion blog at http://bit.ly/UnionInnovationBlog
52 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Unions at the heart of government - w/Dave Penman
The new series of UnionDues kicks off with Simon in discussion with Dave Penman, General Secretary of the senior civil servants’ union, the FDA.FDA members are at the heart of government – so when legal action is launched by the union against the Prime Minister over ignoring reports of bullying by his Home Secretary, it’s arguably a case of either feeling certain to win or having nothing to lose.In reality it is neither, but Dave takes us through the background, and the importance of the issues at stake. What he says will shock you (or maybe not, which would be worse)We also look at why the union is reluctantly preparing for industrial action at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the merits of the joint venture with Unison that created Managers In Partnership (a union structure for senior health sector staff), and why blowhards for reform should “walk in the shoes” of the civil servants they’re criticising, and how being FDA General Secretary is the best job in the world.Plus eye-catching stories from around the labour movement involving maps, priests and gas fitters, and Prof Mel Simms from the University of Glasgow shares her “thought for the week” on the NEU safe schools campaign.A member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. Companion blog here. Access all episodes here. Produced by Makes You Think
27 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
California's Prop 22: Could the UK be next?
A UnionDues special episode. While the Biden-Harris ticket pushed Trump out of the White House, Californian voters adopted Proposition 22 which stripped away employment rights for potentially millions of workers. The worst anti-worker legislation in over 70 years according to some.But what is Prop 22, and how did it get passed - and could something similar happen here in the UK?With the help of fellow podcasters from America Workforce, WorkWeek, Union City Radio, KBOO Labor Radio, Working People and The Gig we get to the guts of this landmark issue. Companion blog here, and you can access all the shows we sample at www.laborradionetwork.org UnionDues series 3 will be available from January. A Makes-You-Think production
35 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
What now for NZ unions after Labour landslide - w/Melissa Ansell-Bridges
In a special UnionDues podcast, Simon chats with Melissa Ansell-Bridges, General Secretary of the New Zealand Council of trade Unions about the prospects and possibilities for workers following NZ Labour’s stunning election victory last month. High on the agenda is delivery of sector-based Fair Pay Agreements which could revolutionise both the union movement and working conditions – but reform of laws on employment status are also a key part of the equation. It’s all to play for! Read the companion blog for more. A Makes-You-Think production
30 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
A journey down the Working River - w/ Brian Denny
In this special episode, Simon chats with Brian Denny, curator of the Working River collection of songs and music from those who live and work on the Thames. And what a journey it is.Although most of the action is in London and Essex, the 21 songs take us the entire length of the river – an emotional and political roller-coaster with tales of poetry and literature, music and the arts, industry and empire. But also, of poverty and strife, struggles and strikes, insurrection and inspiration, from the Nore mutiny to SS Windrush . A mixture of well-established and new tales from musicians of great skill and passion. But the story behind the album is just as fascinating, for folk music novices and afficionados alike.As Brian says, folk music is not only “three chords and the truth” but “a living tradition reflecting the lives of working people which are often overlooked.” Working River – Songs and music of the Thames is available as a CD or download from Folktree recordings. There’s a great illustrated commentary from Brian and all proceeds go to the GFTU educational trust – a good cause indeed. Companion blog here. A Makes-You-Think production.
39 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
An epic journey! Postal workers in the twenteens, w/Terry Pullinger
The latest UnionDues podcast takes us on an epic industrial journey through the twenteens as seen through the eyes of the Communication Workers’ Union’s 100,000 plus postal members.Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger talks us through a story of privatisation, the rarity of legally binding collective agreements, hello to a destructive new CEO, two massive Yes votes for strike action, good-bye to afore-mentioned CEO, and the challenge of being key workers in a pandemic that’s like a war.Also in this episode, an update on the campaign to save Unionlearn in England as some Conservatives lambast the CBI over firm-level training, gloves off over BT plans for compulsory redundancies, and USDAW’s plea to Welsh shoppers.Companion blogpost here. UnionDues is part of the Labor Radio Podcast Network of over 70 union-related podcasts, accessible via the LRPN portal. You can also stream or download this and all episodes here. Contact the show at firstname.lastname@example.org or @DuesUnion.Stream, download, share, rate, comment but above all enjoy!
36 minutes | Oct 20, 2020
A Brave New World of work w/Christina Colclough
Covid has dramatically changed the notion of work and workplaces. The growth of “super surveillance” was established before the pandemic hit, but the upsurge in home and remote working has been a massive accelerant. In the latest episode of UnionDues, Simon is joined by Christina Colclough, director of the Why Not lab which looks at the future of work from the workers’ perspective: What can, should and must unions do to safeguard their members, and what’s likely to happen if they don’t.Also updates on a new Trade Union Advisory Group, a successful outcome for NUJ members at Bullivant Media and Unite puts Heathrow Airport management on the spot in a row on jobs and pay.Companion blog post here. Part of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. A Makes-You-Think production.
31 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
Unions after Covid - w/Becky Wright
In the latest UnionDues podcast episode, Simon chats with Becky Wright, Executive Director of the Unions21 “think and do” tank. What will unions look like after Covid? What lessons will we learn? That’s the aim of Becky’s new research project (with help from SPERI and ACTU), and we’re all invited to take part.We also talk pivoting to deliver services and support on-line during the pandemic, why new members are an untapped organising resource, what is strategic corporate research and why you should use it, why member engagement can’t work in isolation – and nor can a digital strategy. Plus news on or from Unionlearn, the GFTU, and Labour Research. Companion blogpost here. A Makes-You-Think production.
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