Our Trade Unions, What Comes Next After The Summer Of 2022?


Nigel Flanagan brings to the question of organising a sharp and critical analysis of the problems thrown up in the new world of work.

The hot summer of 2022 anticipated an even hotter autumn. Railway workers, post and telecom staff, train drivers, teachers, health workers, higher education staff all took their place in a wave of strike ballots and – unprecedented in years – a real strike wave.

What is distinctive about this phase of union action is firstly the massive ballot majorities which speak to anger at runaway inflation, fantastical energy prices and rising rents but also to waves of human solidarity.

When picket lines are universally respected, when the police sense that imposing the legal limit of six ‘official’ pickets is a nonsense, when each picket line is greeted by a cacophony of car horns and passing cheers and the public sees in the militant action of strikers the embryo of their own urge to action the employers and government have cause to think again. Union leaders become media stars and their utterances dominate social media.

Our trade unions, what comes next after the summer of 2022 is the first of a new series of Manifesto Press books on the world of work, class and trade unions.