In an historic moment for the child fostering sector - and urged on by the Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP - foster care workers have voted to unionise and launch their own branch of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain Union (IWGB). The decision was taken at a packed meeting of foster care workers at Parliament on Monday 19th September.
With electoral reform back on the agenda -- and Labour reformers from all wings of the movement, from John McDonnell to Chuka Umunna), the voices of trade union members on this are vital in the debate.
As the Trades Union Congress (TUC) meets in Brighton this week for its 148th annual gathering, it faces in one way or another essentially the same challenge that it has done since it was first founded. Jobs, work and employment take place as ever under capitalism but capitalism is constantly re-configuring the way jobs, work and employment are organised.
As a fine piece of theatre, Brassed Off is strongly recommended and deservedly attracted the attention of the local BBC Look North programme, which prominently featured the production in the middle of its run. But as a raw and gritty slice-of-life take on some of the most troubled times anyone can remember since the last war, it's genuinely important - and a very timely reminder of the industrial heritage we all still share.
These measures, as part of Jeremy's 10 pledges, present a blueprint to tackle the structural inequalities, barriers and prejudices facing women from all backgrounds, throughout their lives...now we need to ensure its implementation by re-electing Jeremy as leader.
The sets of proposals from Smith and Corbyn are to be welcomed. Notwithstanding their weaknesses (Corbyn, Smith) and doubts over the degree of commitment to them (Smith), they present an opportunity to re-open a public debate on a long marginalised subject, namely, levelling up workers' rights.
Over the last year Corbyn supporters have learned the hard way that the elected leader does not necessarily have control of the party. This has not lead to a healthy balance of power, it's lead to internal anarchy. NEC reform is urgently required, not just to make the party's governance democratic but simply to make the party function again.
I like to look on the sunny side of life, but even I have to recognise that our Party is scarcely in a shape to meet the challenge of a general election right now. We need a period of unity, self-discipline, policy development and talking to the public rather than ourselves - as I hope we will get once the leadership election is over - before we are ready to face the electorate with any realistic prospect of success.
The criteria for judging success for any action by a trade union is whether it results in the organisation being stronger. GMB endorsing Owen Smith is highly unlikely to effect the overall result of the Labour leadership election, where Corbyn is widely expected to win. However, it is a decision that has placed GMB outside the ranks of the other progressive trade unions...
Len McCluskey is a principled man who says he believes in the voice of the people being heard and listened to - will he now do a u-turn and allow his members like me to have a say on the direction which my Union will be taking? I would urge Unite to allow this debate to be had, otherwise it will continue to fester.
If you want the greatest honour in politics - to lead the Labour Party - then you have to be absolutely certain about why you want the job and what you plan to do with it.. Many people in our country rightly feel angry that as the challenges they face grow ever steeper, our politics is simply too timid to rise to the occasion. At a time where homes become ever more unaffordable, wages stagnate, public services are cut back, young people looking worriedly to the future the Labour Party has been guilty of being too timid in our vision. We've left people unsure if we have the ambition to seize the moment and offer real hope.
Doubling down on divisiveness, Tom Watson has chosen to attack Unite and myself personally for our position on the unnecessary Labour leadership election which his manoeuvres, amongst others, have forced on the Party at a time of national crisis... Indeed, Tom was more than keen on Unite members' money in the days before he fell for the charms of Max Mosley's support. His complaints now are hypocritical, as well as ill-founded, and his attempt to divide our union will fall flat on its face.
The principles of democracy - of solidarity, tolerance and respect - are what our trade unions and the Labour party are built on. They are Jeremy's principles. They drive the policies that inspired 250,000 people to elect him by a landslide just 10 months ago. And I hope and believe they will again.
She is every bit as canny, strong, and cunning as her predeccessor, and the other beige politicos who have gone before her into and out of Downing Street, probably more so in fact. She is every bit as embroiled in the Westminster game as the men, and we cannot forget that as she takes charge of the country.
At a time when teachers, parents and children have had a tough year at the whims of the government, the issues over which NUT members have been forced to strike have more resonance with the public than ever before.
One important lesson I learnt as a trade unionist, negotiating on behalf of my members, and, currently, seeking resolutions between opposing parties at work, is to avoid stereotyping. It's so tempting at the moment to think 'everyone over there is like that' or 'everyone who voted for that believes this'. We need to take the time to understand more about the deeper views and experiences of those in opposition to one another, and these can rarely be summed up in a single sentence or headline.