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Union VoicesTactics and Tensions in UK Organizing$
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Melanie Simms, Jane Holgate, and Edmund Heery

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451201

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451201.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Union Voices

Melanie Simms

Jane Holgate

Edmund Heery

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter presents the book's rationale for discussing one of the most significant developments in British trade unionism: the increasing focus on organizing activity. It considers the impact of the UK's Trades Union Congress (TUC) Organising Academy (OA), the participants in the training program, and the organizing campaigns that union organizers have run. In telling the story of what organizing is “like” on the front line, what organizers do, and how they do it, the book places the workplace struggles of workers and their unions at the core of its investigation. The chapter shows how one of the things that happened as ideas about organizing migrated from other countries to the United Kingdom is that the political conceptualization of why unions are organizing has been underexamined. The book then seeks to understand organizing as a political process, as well as the politics within the wider purpose of organizing.

Keywords:   British trade unioinism, Organising Academy, Trades Union Congress, organizing campaigns, workplace struggles, labor unions

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