Unions face a once in a generation opportunity for renewal. Decades of decline have been compounded by a global elite who increasingly generate profit from financial engineering in ways that side-step labour and undermine the power of organised workers.
However, as this economic system begins to falter, there are signs of a renewed union movement emerging. Debt-laden firms – from supermarkets and nursery chains to outsourcing giants – are collapsing, and workers are organising to determine what comes next. Unionised bank cashiers are refusing to push predatory loans, teachers are striking against the exploitative housing market, and manufacturing workers are pooling redundancy pay to buy-out plants and become worker owners.
Alice Martin and Annie Quick argue that these are seeds of union renewal. To be effective in an age of finance, the union movement must set its ambitions beyond narrow wage-bargaining, and towards the financial systems that have infiltrated workplaces and impoverished communities. By doing so, they can play a critical role in ushering in a new, democratic economy.
No-one committed to economic justice can afford to miss this urgent, highly original book and its radical vision for unions.