Union Futures: Why progressives should care about the future of labour

June 21, 2008

Work and Workers

New Progressive Agendas in the World of Work

By David Coats

This paper makes two arguments; first, that progressive parties cannot afford to be neutral about the role of organised labour and second, that a determined effort must be made to improve workplace employment relations, by encouraging effective employer-union co-operation. It may have struck you already that these seem to be two quite distinct arguments. You might even find it difficult to relate one to the other. But my case is that the political role of organised labour is legitimised by the fact that trade unions have credibility in the workplace.