About the book

Workers Can Win! A guide to organising at work. Ian Allinson

Workers Can Win! A guide to organising at work by Ian Allinson is being published by Pluto Press. It includes illustrations by Colin Revolting (@artivistsatwork).

Drawing on more than 20 years of organising experience, the book combines practical techniques with an analysis of the theory and politics of organising and unions. It offers insight into tried and tested methods for effective organising. It deals with tactics and strategies, and addresses some of the roots of conflict, common problems with unions and the resistance of management to worker organising.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Why organise at work?
  • Work causes conflict and shapes resistance
  • Collectivity
  • Power
  • Unions and bargaining
  • The world of work today
  • It’s impossible in my job because…
  • Seek advice; experiment
Chapter 3: Starting out
  • Talking, listening and finding allies
  • Stay safe
  • Building up resources, skills and support
Chapter 4: Servicing, advocacy, mobilising and organising
  • Models of trade unionism
  • What is a union for?
  • The potential of casework
  • Non-payment of wages and the minimum wage
  • Dismissal
  • The pitfalls of casework
  • Issues beyond work
Chapter 5: Choosing and communicating about issues
  • Choosing organising issues
  • Communicating about your issue
  • Words matter
  • Techniques in detail #1: Organising conversations
  • Written communication
Chapter 6: How to organise
  • Leaders and influential workers
  • Techniques in detail #2: Mapping and Charting
  • Techniques in detail #3: Structure tests
  • Techniques in detail #4: Communication trees and distribution networks
  • Meetings
  • Socialising
  • Democracy
  • Collective action
Chapter 7: Using your rights
  • Rights are double-edged
  • Contracts of employment
  • Employer policies
  • Health and safety
  • Discrimination
  • Redundancy and TUPE
  • Whistleblowing
  • Union recognition
  • Facility time
  • Employee forums and works councils
Chapter 8: Planning action
  • Disruption costs and concession costs
  • Different types of power
  • Understanding our power and theirs
  • Plan to win
Chapter 9: Industrial and direct action
  • The industrial action process
  • Types of action
  • Strikes, money, participation and democracy
  • Building solidarity
  • The media
  • Winning and settling disputes
Chapter 10: Management mischief
  • Intensifying work and keeping control
  • Derailing the union
  • Dividing the union
  • Attacking the union
Chapter 11: Dealing with your union
  • Using the union beyond your work
  • The union isn’t just the members
  • Standing up to the union bureaucracy
Chapter 12: Overcoming difficulties and limitations
  • Campaign pitfalls
  • Problems with the campaigners
  • Burnout and organisational culture
  • Are unions enough?
Further reading