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Ep 17: The Christmas (Island) Episode

In our first seasonal special, we tell the inspiring story of the Union of Christmas Island Workers (UCIW), a trade union on the Australian territory of Christmas Island, so named by an East India Company explorer who arrived there on Christmas Day, 1643. The UCIW’s story is one of inspiring working-class internationalism against racism, and we feel it contains a lot of important messages for many issues facing us today. Thanks to our researcher Holly for researching and writing this...


Ep 16: Education in the labour movement

In excerpts from panels at The World Transformed and the Ella Baker School of Transformative organising, we bring you Colin Waugh talking about the history of Ruskin College and the Plebs' League; Ian Manborde talking about contemporary trade union education; and a bit from Daniel on education programmes in the the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) in the early 20th century, mainly cribbed from Daniel Katz's 2011 book 'All Together Different'. There's also a brief...


Ep 15: The red-state walkouts: an interview with Lois Weiner

Returning to our secret North London bunker-studio following last month’s live cast, we turn our attention to the recent walkouts of teachers and other school workers in Republican-voting states in the USA such as Kentucky, West Virginia, and elsewhere. We were very lucky to have the opportunity to talk to Lois Weiner, an American socialist and trade union activist and author of the book ‘The Future of Our Schools: Teacher Unions and Social Justice’ (2012, Haymarket), a member of the...


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 duties,...


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 the...


Ep 11: 'One Hand Tied Behind Us' - Women workers, trade unions, and the fight for suffrage

In the centenary year of the "Representation of the People Act", which extended the franchise to certain, propertied, women, Labour Days looks at the question of working-class and labour movement involvement in the women's suffrage movement, and introduces listeners to the activity of labour-movement suffrage fighters like Julia Varley, Sylvia Pankhurst, and Ada Nield Chew. The reccommended reading for this episode is Jill Norris and Jill Liddington's book 'One Hand Tied Behind Us', which...


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 ( 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: We begin the episode with a rattle through some recent...


Ep 9: Green Bans and Workers' Plans - How organised labour can save the planet

With Ellie out of action, wafflers-in-chief Daniel and Edd discuss whether trade unions have a particular role to play in the struggle to prevent the planet becoming a charred husk (spoiler: they do). Verity Burgmann, co-author of ‘Green Bans, Red Union’, joins us to discuss the New South Wales Builders Labourers’ Federation’s “green bans” of the 1970s, before Edd talks us through the history Lucas Aerospace Workers’ plan of 1976, and Daniel reminisces about his time campaign on a roundabout...


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...


Ep 6: The 2017 #McStrike and the 1912 New York waiters' strike

With McDonald's workers in two stores set to stage their first ever official strike in UK history, we interview striker and BFAWU activist Steve about the campaign, and discuss the issues it raises. We look back on the "McDonald's Workers' Resistance" network, whose archives are online at, and discuss Unite New Zealand's "Supersize My Pay" campaign (watch a documentary about it here:, and the ongoing "Fight for...


Ep 6 preview: #McStrike!

As a teaser for our forthcoming sixth episode on food service workers' struggles past and present, we're sharing part of our interview with McDonald's worker and BFAWU activist Steve, who talks about the reasons behind McDonalds workers' upcoming strike on 4 September. The full episode, which also includes a look back at the 1912 New York waiters' strike, will be released next week. For more information on the #McStrike, and how you can support it (including by donating to their strike...


Ep 5: 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 of...


Ep 3: 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 2: May Day

In this episode, Edd, Ellie, and Daniel take a look at the origins of International Workers’ Day and how it is still celebrated around the world. Further reading on the radical origins of May Day: Picturehouse cinema workers are striking again on May Day. Donate to their strike fund here: Intro music and audio motif taken from 'Labor' by Aesop Rock. We do not own this music, which is...


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: Hackney:...