The wave of strikes demanding better workplace protections shows labor’s impressive resilience faced with the COVID-19 crisis. Social distancing and the rise of homeworking are blocking off many traditional forms of collective action — but also bringing about new ways of pressuring employers.
Gregor Gall is a visiting professor of industrial relations at the University of Leeds and an affiliate research associate at the University of Glasgow
In 1980s Britain, miners went on strike in support of nurses’ pay claims, throwing their industrial muscle behind under-pressure hospital staff. After decades of harsh anti-union laws, Labour’s manifesto promises a way to rebuild this culture of solidarity.
Three years after his death, British trade union leader Bob Crow continues to provide an example of militant working-class leadership.