Building reciprocal community unionism in the UK

Wills, J. and Simms, M. (2004) Building reciprocal community unionism in the UK. Capital and Class, 28(1), pp. 59-84. (doi: 10.1177/030981680408200105)

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British trade union renewal has focused on the twin strategies of organising and partnership. Drawing on experience from North America, and fledgling developments in Britain, this paper argues that reciprocal community unionism could provide another weapon in the union movement's armoury for reversing decline. The paper provides a brief historical overview of the intersection between unions and community in Britain before addressing reciprocal community unionism in more detail. The final part of the paper then looks at the work of Battersea and Wandsworth Trade Union Council's Organising Centre in South West London during 2000 and 2001. The case study highlights the ways in which trade unionism can develop when focused on a particular locality, and the advantages of having extra-workplace organisation in any place. The case also illustrates some of the barriers preventing this model of trade unionism being translated to other boroughs, towns and cities in the UK. In the conclusion, the paper then calls for further experimentation in the development of reciprocal community unionism.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Simms, Professor Melanie
Authors: Wills, J., and Simms, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Capital and Class
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):2041-0980

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