The British working class has a history of swinging from industrial action to political action. This is as true today as it was in the 1930s. This article looks at the great struggles of 1929-31, when the polical leaders of the workers' parties failed to respond to the tasks required of them, leading to the defeat of the workers and the return to power of the Tories.
Peter Doyle, an organiser for the public sector union Unison in Cumbria, Northern England, reports on the Equal Value claims that his union region is submitting to the government to get women workers in traditional "women's jobs" in the health service the same levels of pay as workers in traditional "men's jobs". They are on the verge of an important victory.
Socialist Appeal has published this special supplement as a contribution to the current debate surrounding union funding for the Labour Party. Socialist Appeal calls for trade unionists to not contract out, but to contract in, and reclaim the party that the unions created 100 years ago.
Following the example of the United States, Thatcher attempted to transform Britain into a deregulated low-wage economy. To the disgust of trade unionists, Blair is attempting to carry through a similar policy. Rob Sewell examines what has happened and argues for a radical alternative to Blairism.