News & Politics Podcasts >
Ep 14: Labour Days live: A new New Unionism?
This is our very first live podcast, recorded at Ideas for Freedom, a weekend of socialist debate and discussion hosted by Workers’ Liberty, on 23 June. We were joined by Tom Kelly, a striking workers from the East Dulwich Picturehouse cinema, to discuss “a new New Unionism?”, looking at whether burgeoning low-paid workers’ struggles can lead to a revival and recomposition of the labour movement in the same way that the “New Unionism” of the 1880s did. Ellie was on compering/chairing...
Ep 13: Police vs Picket Lines
What attitude should the labour movement take to the police? Does the way strikes have been policed in the past give us some clues about the police’s fundamental role? With the Labour Party adopting an explicitly pro-cop position, distributing leaflets shaped like police helmets calling for 20,000 more police on the streets, we argue for the labour movement to take a more cautious, and ultimately hostile, to the role of the police, who we believe ultimately exist to defend the power of...
Ep 12: We go full Dobbs - The Minneapolis Teamsters' strike of 1934
It's our first birthday, and after a year of frankly unseemly pleading, cajoling, and tantrum-throwing from Daniel, the Labour Days crew has finally allowed him, as a special birthday treat, to give a presentation about the 1934 Minneapolis teamsters' strike. It's a story that has it all: courageous action against the odds, pitched battles with the cops, and an abundance of lessons about how a core of dedicated activists in a given workplace or union can catalyse huge struggles that pose...
Ep 10: On New Terrain - an interview with Kim Moody
In this episode, we take a deep dive into questions of class composition and labour movement strategy via an interview with Kim Moody. Kim is a labour movement writer and activist, who co-founded Labor Notes in the USA (www.labornotes.org). His new book, ‘On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War’ is published by Haymarket, and is available to buy here: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1106-on-new-terrain We begin the episode with a rattle through some...
Ep 8: Unions and the Russian Revolution
How did trade unionists, and the trade union movement, respond to the revolutions of 1917 in Russia? Edd The Brain takes us through a few examples, and we discuss what implications they have for contemporary working-class solidarity. As promised in the episode, here's Labour Days' Great (But Not Exhaustive) Russian Revolution Reading List: General histories of the Russian Revolution Leon Trotsky, The History of the Russian Revolution (1930) -...
Ep 7: Trade unions against fascism
With far-right and fascist movements growing across Europe and North America, how can trade unions resist? We look back through history at some examples of how organised labour has confronted fascism, exploring specifically trade-union movement organisation rather than wider community-led anti-fascism, and focusing on perhaps less well-known examples rather more famous episodes such as the Battle of Cable Street. We examine transport workers’ resistance to fascism in the 1920s and 30s, and...
Ep5: Unions on screen
How have unions been portrayed in film and TV, and why aren't there more representations of unions and class struggle on screen? The Labour Days crew attempts to answer these questions, with (mostly passing!) reference to TV shows and films including The Simpsons, The Wire, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Days of Glory, Matewan, Pride, Made in Dagenham, Newsies, Our Friends In The North, GBH, Boys From The Black Stuff, Coronation Street, Brookside, and many more. Joining us to discuss the...
Ep 4 - Industrial unionism
In this episode, Professor Edmund "the Brain" Mustill takes the gang through a potted history of industrial unionism, and discusses how it differs from craft-based models of trade unionism. We hear from Jade Baker, a teacher and National Union of Teachers (NUT) activist in south London, about the NUT's upcoming merger with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), to form the National Education Union (NEU). Daniel talks about his experiences as a rep and activist in National Union...
Ep3: Trade unions and immigration
Daniel, Ellie, and Edd discuss migrant workers' struggles past and present, and explore debates in the historic and contemporary labour movement around immigration controls, arguing that trade unions are strongest when they oppose border controls and seek to organise all workers, regardless of immigration status or national origin. The episode features interviews with Sujata Aurora from the Grunwick 40 Committee, who explains the history of the Grunwick strike and the Committee's work to...
Ep 1: Cinemas and Music Halls
In our first episode Edd, Daniel, and Ellie discuss their hopes for what the podcast might achieve. We talk to Kelly Rogers, union rep at the Ritzy, about the growing Picturehouse Cinema workers' strike. Edd takes us through the story of London's great Music Hall Strike of 1907. The Picturehouse workers have a number of pages you can follow to support their dispute and donate to their strike fund: Brixton: https://www.facebook.com/RitzyLivingWage/ Hackney:...