Employers are using unscrupulous ‘fire and rehire’ tactics and employees struggle with the impact of the pandemic on wages and working conditions. Granville Williams sets the scene for two Festival of Debate events on trade union topics.
Author: Granville Williams
Granville is the editor of “It’s the Media, Stupid! The Media, the 2019 Election and the Aftermath” (2020) and edits MediaNorth which campaigns for strong regional media and strongly supports alternative media, both print and online.
Granville Williams writes about the Amazon vote which was given to workers who voiced their discontentment with their treatment and working conditions. The ballot, however, was run in a way which made it difficult for workers to vote, and was ultimately a setback for trade unionism.
Granville Williams explains the cartoon row at Batley Grammar School, where a teacher showed an image of the Prophet Mohammed in a religious studies lesson. Since the lesson, there have been protests outside the school. The bigger debate though, is about freedom of speech and the rights in a pluralist society.
Amazon owns a third of the warehouse space in the country, yet continues to treat its workers poorly. As Granville Williams writes, union action is becoming an increasingly common way of countering this malpractice.
Granville Williams on the background to the fiercely fought battle to organise an American Amazon warehouse. The insistence on speed and surveillance of Amazon workers has led to global media coverage.
One other sinister and covert weapon used against trade unionists is now getting some attention: the extent to which the police and security services have mounted surveillance and undercover operations against trade unionists and political activists since the 1960s.
Wapping – The Workers’ Story is a film about the momentous year-long industrial dispute which began in 1986 when Rupert Murdoch plotted to move production of his papers overnight from central London’s Fleet Street to a secretly equipped and heavily guarded plant at Wapping, a docklands district in east London.
One thing is clear. We desperately need to ensure the survival of what remains of our local and regional newspapers, already depleted in terms of the number of journalists working on them and the drastic falls in circulation, especially with the pandemic.
Granville Williams looks at the assault on reality in both the UK and the US, and of the development of alternative media ecosystems for the far right. “The need for trusted, independent media to hold lying politicians to account has never been more urgent.”
Here’s a thought. Barry Hines’s novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, wouldn’t exist without the BBC. In particular without the key role of Alfred Bradley, a Leeds-based producer for the BBC North region based in Woodhouse Lane, Leeds from 1959 to 1980. Bradley fostered distinctive Northern talent on The Northern Drift – realists like Alan […]