In this short and accessible book, Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union, presents the case for joining a trade union. Drawing on anecdotes from his own long involvement in unions, he looks at the history of trade unions, what they do and how they give a voice to working people, as democratic organisations.
He considers the changing world of work, the challenges and opportunities of automation and why being trade unionists can enable us to help shape the future. He sets out why being a trade unionist is as much a political role as it is an industrial one and why the historic links between the labour movement and the Labour Party matter.
Ultimately, McCluskey explains how being a trade unionist means putting equality at work and in society front and centre, fighting for an end to discrimination, and to inequality in wages and power.
“An absolute pleasure to read: it’s part Len’s personal history, part argument for an active, participatory trade union movement. In drawing out the lessons of recent trade union disputes and campaigns, such as the Gate Gourmet strike, the British Airways dispute and the various battles round precarious work, this book will be a vital resource for young activists in particular. I think it should be on everyone’s reading list, in the Labour Party and beyond.”
“Len McCluskey is Britain’s best known, and arguably most powerful, trade union leader for good reason. He engagingly mixes personal experiences with unflinching conviction to present a compelling argument for the value of organised labour—whichever political party is Government.”
“A brilliant, accessible and thought-provoking book – and a reminder that unions will always be the best way for working-class people to win justice. Featuring a wealth of historical material, this lively and personal account shows how organised labour can thrive in the future. A must-read for trade unionists, activists and anybody who wants to build a more equal society.”
“Excellent, clear, contemporary in its examples and historically informed.”
“Len McCluskey’s little red book.”