Social Movements and Trade Unions


    Who Are In the Streets? Reflections on Nuit Debout in Paris
  • After the 31 March demonstration against the new proposed labour legislation (the ‘loi travail’), demonstrators decided not to go home; they re- assembled at Place de la République to keep vigil and debate the society they wanted to build, and the Nuit Debout movement was born. It is difficult to...
    Trade Unions: International Solidarity in Action
  • International solidarity can be understood as cooperation between trade-union organisations that, by their nature, share the same objectives because they represent the workers of their countries. It takes on a special importance when the workers are employed by the same multinational company or in...
    “The People Demand Social Justice!” - A Huge Social Protest in Israel
  • Less than a year ago, the whole Arab Region, from Tunisia in the West to Yemen in the South East, was the arena of a gigantic and extraordinary popular uprising for freedom and democracy. The decades-old dictatorships of Hosni Mubarak and Zine el Abidine Ben Ali were overturned in a few weeks, and...
    May 15 and the Spanish Revolution
  • In Spain the crisis of 2007/2008 marked the end of a long political cycle. Since the 1980s, a big centre coalition tried to build a modern welfare state on the ruins of a destroyed labour society and to finance it through speculation and debts. From a historical perspective, this project...
    Social Relations Put to the Austerity Test
  • In a statement submitted to the Seoul Summit of the G20, the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) recalls that “the economic crisis that has disrupted the lives of so many wage earners is far from being over – the crisis has become a social one. There are, today, over 220 million...
    Revolution in Egypt - A Live Report
  • Part One Cairo, February 7 Turbulent days lay behind us and the revolution was still going on. At least, internet was back and phones working. On this day the city returned to a sort of normal life, with the usual restrictions that come with any revolution such as blocked off streets around...
    A Journey to the Centre of the Transition
  • The event On April 23, 2009, a group of unemployed textile workers in Novi Pazar, southern Serbia, began a hunger strike. Their main demand – in the name of all 1,532 members of the Association of Textile Workers of Novi Pazar, Sjenica, and Tutin – was the payment of outstanding...


    We Condemn the Attack on the CGIL Headquarters
  • During the demonstrations that took place on 9 October in Rome against the Covid-19 health pass, the national headquarters of the Italian General Confederation of Labour (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL) were attacked by right-wing forces. The President of the Party of the European...
    ETUC Open Letter to EU Leaders
  • The European Trade Union Confederation issued an important open letter, considering the historical dimension in the confrontation between the European institutions and the Greek government.


    March of Anger. Public Sector Workers in Poland Say: Enough is Enough!
  • On 15 September, one month ahead of Polish elections, public sector workers marched to the Prime Minister’s office. The Trade Unions’ Forum and All-Poland's Trade-Union Confederation had joined in a Protest Committee to say no to low wages and inadequate state response to inflation in the public sector and beyond.
    MEP Marc Botenga (Belgium, PTB): Building the Left in- and outside of Parliament
  • MEP Marc Botenga (PTB, Belgium) speaks about workers' alliances across Europe and why we need more of them, the EU bureaucracy and political culture he witnessed, some fights at the European Parliament with the Commission, PTB's rise in Belgium and party building. An interview conducted by Loren Balhorn for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
    European Works Councils (EWCs) - An Underestimated Institution
  • The 2024 European Parliament elections are increasingly contingent on the rise of the radical right in Europe. In response to this threat, Heinz Bierbaum highlights an important tool of left politics. He discusses the role of "European Works Councils”, and shows why they are important for a left strategy.
    Financialisation of Water and All of Nature: The Inacceptable Piracy of Life
  • Over the last three decades, money and finance, as well as power and war, have extended their grip on life. This expansion was facilitated in part by technology — new biotechnologies and artificial intelligence — but also by highly financialised market economies and their underlying principles of conquest and exploitation.
    After Tempe: Preconditions For Regaining Confidence in the Railways
  • Speech by Kostas Genidounias, President of the Panhellenic Association of Train Drivers (PEPE) at the conference organised by the Nikos Poulantzas Institute entitled "Safety: Countering the Argument - From Individual Responsibility to Multifaceted Collective Safety" held on 26th of April 2023.
    One Against All?
  • Macron's deeply unpopular pension reform passed, but the fight isn't over yet.
    Different Countries, Same Labour Struggle: Europe’s Hospitals on Strike
  • Healthcare cuts have sparked strike movements in many countries. How have these struggles developed in Germany, Great Britain and Spain, and what is actually going on in Austria’s hospitals? Fabian Hattendorfer, Benjamin Herr and Mathias Krams (editors of the Austrian online blog mosaik) provide an overview.
    May 2023 - Italian Trade Unions Mobilise For a New Era of Labour Rights
  • In Italy this month is marked by successful inter-regional demonstrations organised by the three confederal trade unions. Leopoldo Tartaglia, Secretary of the CGIL-International Department, outlines the crucial role of organised and unified trade union forces in embarking on a new path of general struggles and mobilisations.
    The UK’s Strike Wave: Where Next for Workers Struggles?
  • 2022 saw more strikes in Britain than any year since 2011 as workers continued to fight back against an on-going cost of living crisis that will see poverty, foodbank use, and homelessness hit even wider sections of the working class. The strike wave, which began last summer led by rail and postal workers, has not come to an end.
    “Long Live the Common Struggle Against War and Fascism!”
  • Last weekend, EL President Walter Baier attended the #8ANEUiA Congress of EUiA - Esquerra Unida i Alternativa, where he addressed the importance of united democratic and socialist forces in struggle against rising fascism, the neoliberal austerity policy as well as the threat of mutual annihilation.
    More Equality for More Resilience
  • The year 2022 has given us a glimpse of the new world we are entering. We are witnessing the end of a long period of relative stability, prosperity and security. From now on, we will have to learn to live with uncertainty and restraint. An analysis by Christophe Degryse, Head of the Foresight Unit at the European Trade Union (ETUI).
    “Enough is Enough” — Working Class Struggles in the UK
  • As Britain faces economic crisis at the hands of a right-wing Conservative government, it continues to be hard hit by Brexit, and is still reeling from the impact of the pandemic. With the Labour Party failing to mount any serious opposition to neo-liberalism, we are at last seeing the re-emergence of significant trade union-led strikes.
    Diary of a Pandemic Shop Steward 2022
  • When I last wrote a diary entry, it was the autumn of 2020. This was shortly before management planned to start bringing staff back to the office, despite my concerns about our workplace, not being Covid secure – but events intervened.
    Flying and Cancer: Underestimated Risk for Flight Attendants
  • The body of evidence linking the occupation of cabin crew to an increased risk of breast cancer is steadily growing. Now that there is a chance of it gaining recognition as an occupational disease, more and more trade unions and associations are engaging with the issue.
    Dutch Port Workers Want to Retire Healthy
  • Given that port workers work shifts, under high pressure and in arduous working conditions, many of them are totally worn out long before they reach pensionable age – and on average they die six years earlier. Port workers need to retire earlier if they are to enjoy a healthy old age.
    Europäische Industriepolitik in Zeiten des Klimawandels
  • Das 1,5-Grad-Ziel zu erreichen, wird immer schwieriger. Warum es dazu eine transformative Industriepolitik braucht und warum es irrsinnig ist, Uran und Gas als umweltgerechte Energiequellen einzustufen, erklärt Roland Kulke von transform! europe im Gespräch mit Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Betrieb & Gewerkschaft.
    4th Russian Social Forum 2022
  • The 4th Russian Social Forum took place from 1 to 4 May during the days of the World Social Forum in Mexico City and was closely linked to it — both thematically and in terms of the circle of participants.
    A New Wave of Protest against Abortion Laws in Poland
  • There has been a new wave of civic protests in Poland against the anti-women policy of the conservative Law and Justice party government and its right-wing coalition partners. As a result of a ruling by the illegally appointed Constitutional Tribunal, politicised by the current government, abortion...
    Expanding Democratic Control
  • Contribution to the seminar Expanding Democratic Control: Employment, Energy and Environment, organised by the Party of the European Left (7/11/2021) in the framework of the Peoples‘ Summit (COP26 Coalition).
    Let’s Try Again!
  • This year we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of two crucial landmarks of the old, and now non-existent, anti-globalisation or alternative globalisation movement, which both took place in 2001: the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (Brazil) in January, and the “battle of Genoa” in July.
    We've Had Enough! Women's Strike 2020
  • Starting last autumn, massive demonstrations against the near-total ban on abortion have swept through the streets of Polish cities and towns under the banner of Women's Strike – the country's biggest protests in recent history.
    The Initiative "Move Up 2021"
  • Italy will host the G20 and official meetings will be held in various cities to establish agreements with which the powerful countries of the world will surely continue to fail to address the social and environmental injustice in which we are immersed. The health crisis, climate change,...
    New Farm Laws and Farmer’s Discontent in India
  • One of the world’s biggest strikes is currently taking place. Millions of Indian farmers are protesting against the new agriculture laws adopted by the government and its autocratic leader Narendra Modi, effectively threatening the livelihoods of the most vulnerable parts of Indian society.
    Is Russia Waking Up?
  • The reasons behind the protest actions that began in January, the social forces involved, and the possible consequences.
    App Workers United. The Struggle for Rights in the Gig Economy
  • A newly released study on the current situation of on-demand workers for platforms such as Uber or Deliveroo in Europe, commissioned by the Left group in the European Parliament. The study includes an analysis of the various strategies used to combat the social model imposed on platform workers, both by platform workers and trade unions.
    Feminism in Poland
  • On the rise of grass root movements and the possibilities for feminism in Poland.
    LGBT People Against the Authoritarianism of the Conservative Right
  • Recently, Poland's LGBT community and its supporters took to the streets in protest. It is a reaction to the growing trend of increased hateful rhetoric and actions expressed publicly by various organisations, politicians as well as by Poland's President Andrzej Duda and was fueled by the recent court ruling against an LGBT activist.
    Diary of a Pandemic Shop Steward
  • After the death of my colleague and friend, I became the main trade union representative at my workplace, a small charity helping disabled people in Lambeth (London). As many other union activists across Europe, I am now involved in the struggle of workers to a safe workplace…
    European/Prague Spring 2020
  • UNITED for Intercultural Action, along with transform! europe, Prague Spring 2, Szab, Youth and Environment Europe, International Young Naturefriends, and SPaS, held a webinar to discuss the future of civic organizing in the context of the pandemic, and how leaders across Europe are responding to the crisis with a worryingly authoritarian way.
    Politics in the Face of a Climate Disaster
  • In 2015, when the Paris Agreement was still under negotiations, British journalist Paul Mason expressed his doubts whether the agreement would be signed and wrote that such climate conferences „resemble the peace treaties that paved the way to the Second World War."[1] Although Mason was wrong about...
    The Strikes in France
  • Since the 5th of December 2019, France is witnessing its biggest strike since either 1995 or as some mention May 68, though the number of participants is of course way less important than in that mythical year.
    Klaus Dörre: "A Right-Wing Labour Movement? Causes of an Imaginary Revolt"
  • The 13th Annual Nicos Poulantzas Memorial Lecture, titled “A Right-Wing Labour Movement? Causes of an imaginary revolt”, was delivered on December 9th 2019 in Athens by the Professor of Sociology at the University of Iena, Klaus Dörre, and was attended by a large audience of leftists as well as progressive academics, students etc.
    Long Live Non Una Di Meno!
  • Non Una Di Meno (Not One Less), an important Italian feminist movement aiming to fight the capitalist and patriarchal system and all forms of sexism and racism, held his national conference. Read about the movement's current discussions ...
    Anti-Government Demonstrations in Hungary
  • Representatives of the ruling FIDESZ party presented a bill to the Hungarian parliament on the amendment of the labour code increasing the number of working after-hours that can be ordered by employers to 400 a year in such a way that the wage for it is to be paid not immediately but only within...
    'It's Thursday Again'
  • When on October 4th, 2018 a group of political friends announced a demonstration under the title 'It's Thursday again', nobody would have guessed that this would mark the beginning of an outstanding series of protests against the Austrian right-wing extremist government.
    The Struggle Goes On
  • On the development and current situation of the powerful students' protests in Albania.
    The French Case: Macron vs. Railway Unions
  • Emmanuel Macron is confronted with the strongest social mobilisations in France since his election. Even though these mobilisations are heterogeneous and gather a large variety of struggles, they were originally triggered by Macron’s rail reform which embodies the President’s harsh neoliberal agenda.
    A Question of Class. A New Class Politics – A Connective Antagonism
  • It’s not that the class question could ever be pushed aside totally. It preserved a shadowy Marxist existence. Sometimes, however, it surfaced surprisingly in the feature pages of newspapers, only then swiftly to disappear again. At this point, hardly anyone denies it: we are living in a class society (again).
    Interview with Alon-Lee Green, Israeli social and political activist
  • “We put forward a holistic worldview, one that sees the interrelations between the ongoing occupation of Palestinian Territories, the growing social and economic disparities within the Israeli society, and the attacks by the government on democratic freedoms and on the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
    A Struggle on All Fronts
  • Faced with a democracy that has been denied, an authoritarian government and repressed social movements, the seven trade unions that have spent almost three months fighting against the El Khomri bill (CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, Unef, UNL and FIDL) and in favour of a labour law commensurate with the 21st century are organising a referendum in companies, administrative bodies and research centres.
    European Labour Rights at a Crossroads
  • The dismantling of labour and social rights has gained in strength on the EU political agenda ever since the crisis broke out. This phenomenon, if more acute in the so-called periphery countries, is however to be witnessed everywhere in Europe.
    Rising up Together
  • Nina Léger, French Communist Party activist, reports in detail on the #NuitDebout movement initiated in France.
    DiEM and Co.
  • The European Crisis is leading to rampant chauvinism, racism, and disintegration. Driven by this dynamic Europe is governed by state-of-emergency politics. Austerity, an intensified dismantling of labour and social rights and an inhuman, militarized border regime are being implemented in authoritarian ways, while asylum law is being whittled away.
    Will There Be a Social Spring in France?
  • The labour movement in France is facing an unprecedented attack in the form of a radical bill introduced by the government that would largely dismantle the rights and guarantees enshrined in the Labour Code. However, this attempt is being opposed by a new dynamic combining trade union activism with an extraordinary mobilisation of youth, largely via social media, unseen on this scale since the lead-up to the mass protest against the First Job Contract in 1996.
    1 March: #24hWithoutUs
  • We call all precarious workers, migrants and refugees, activists, autonomous groups and unions to make 1 March 2016 a day of decentralized and coordinated actions and strikes, aimed at disrupting regular production and reproduction, producing communication among different working conditions, making visible hidden situations of exploitation, targeting the border regime and the institutions that govern mobility and precarity.
    ETUC Open Letter to EU Leaders
  • The European Trade Union Confederation issued an important open letter, considering the historical dimension in the confrontation between the European institutions and the Greek government.
    Where does the anti-austeritarian European social movement stand?
  • In cooperation with Laura Horn and the Global Dynamic Research Cluster “Structural Adjustments come to Europe”, Transform! held a workshop on the 9th of May at the Roskilde University on European Social Movements. It aimed at bringing together social movements researchers and activists to discuss the Europeanization of the resistance against austerity and for democracy, the relation between grassroots movements and trade unions, the role of the European Left, as well as the implications of the new political momentum in Europe opened up by SYRIZA’s electoral victory.
    EL took to the streets in the Global Action Day against TTIP, CETA and TISA
  • The Party of the European Left (EL), which was holding its Executive Board meeting last weekend in Brussels, participated with all its members in the demonstration that took place on 18 April in the Belgian capital against the TTIP, CETA and TISA. They did it carrying a banner with the slogan “For the democracy, the public and social services. Stop TTIP”. This rally, in the host city of the European Commission, was part of 734 activities organized in 46 countries across 5 continents.
    People’s Assembly against Austerity Policy and the Tory Government
  • On a hot day and despite the usual cold British weather in London, 4,000 delegates, among them works councils, trade union leaders, community representatives, spokespersons of social movements and leftist politicians like Tony Benn gathered on Saturday, 22 June in the time-honoured Central Hall in Westminster to the hitherto largest conference against austerity policy that has ever taken place in the UK.
    ETUC Day of Action: Turning Point?
  • On 14 November – in the middle of the week – something new happened. Radiating from Spain and Portugal unionists in Italy, Greece, France, and Belgium laid down work. A coordinated “Day of Actions and Solidarity” as has never before taken place in Europe. A day of resistance against the restructuring plans of Europe for which Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, had coined the short phrase: “The European social model is dead”.
    The 1st Balkan Forum: “Another Balkans is Possible!”
  • The 1st Balkan Forum took place within the 2012 Subversive Forum in Zagreb on May 17th and 18th and gathered up to 40 progressive organisations and movements from across the region. During two days of intensive discussion panel participants and audience members analysed current social struggles in...
    Alternative World Water Forum and Rio+20
  • The Alternative World Water Forum (AWWF) took place in Marseille from 14 to 17 March. The official Forum on Water took place at the same time. The latter was a strikingly bitter failure, with only 3,000 participants of the 20,000 expected. The AWWF, on the other hand, with far less resources,...


    How to Enact Change – Through Legislative Initiative and Referendum Processes
  • In two successful left campaigns, the Institute of 8 March (Slovenia) has managed to effectively mobilise people to finally bring about legislative change. Supported by transform! europe, in this publication, the activists describe the steps in their remarkable success, the obstacles along the way and how they overcome them.
    The Situation of Women in Poland 2020
  • Starting in October 2020, feminist protests, which could not be ignored, have addressed the multitude of issues women are facing in the country. This publication of the Naprzód Foundation – available in English and Polish, co-financed by transform! europe – focuses on structural sexism and the current forms of patriarchal rule in Poland.


    2023 Global Climate Jobs
  • As one of the supporters, transform! europe invites you to join the 2023 Global Climate Jobs Conference in Amsterdam from 6 to 8 October, when climate, social and labour movements and activists will come together to organise and build social power for radically progressive policies that stop climate change!
    Going on the Offensive Together
  • On the weekend of 12-14 May, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation, in cooperation with local and regional trade union affiliates and other trade union actors, is organising the fifth conference on "Trade Union Renewal" at the Ruhr University in Bochum.
    Cost of Living Crisis: Workers Strike Back
  • In The Left’s Trade Union conference in cooperation with TUNE (Trade Union’s Network) trade unionists from across Europe will report about workers’ actions and general strikes in France, Romania, UK and Belgium.
    European Summer University of Social Movements 2022
  • ESU22 will be about the future of Europe. We will draw lessons from the deficits that the pandemic has so brutally shown us in many aspects of life. After the last European Summer University of Social Movements — in Paris and Toulouse — we will meet this year in Germany! transform! europe is participating as a cooperation partner.
    The Political Ecology of Work in Times of Disaster
  • The 2022 ITH Conference, organised by the International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH) is held in Linz/Austria and takes from the present epidemiological crisis to also reflect on other times of disaster and their implications for workers, organised labour and labour relations.
    A Blueprint for Equality
  • The aim of this hybrid conference, organised by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), is to explore the effects and the root causes of inequality, and to identify in greater detail the policies and institutions that have the power to render our societies more fair, sustainable, and equal.
    5th International Ecosocialist Encounters
  • This conference will tackle fundamental questions of how, by whom, and to what end ecosocialist initiatives positions can and should be buttressed to be able to stand a chance in the face of today's historical tasks. Join us!
    Move Up! No profit on People and Planet
  • In this conference, the Citizens' Memorandum was discussed by political figures from all across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. The Citizens' Memorandum, formulated by the "Move Up 2021 Initiative", analyses the key obstacles to needed social changes and presents the most relevant solutions that need to be implemented.
    A Vital Labour Day
  • The European Forum of Left, Green and Progressive Forces organised this joint online seminar which aims at supporting trade union activities ahead of the mobilisations on Labour Day, and took place on 28 April, the World Day for Health and Safety at Work.
    How to Combat Climate Warming – Green Capitalism or System Change ?
  • The industrial and economic slowdown due to the pandemic is no substitute for sustained climate action. How can concrete and more ambitious goals in climate and environmental policies be achieved? Are the measures and goals adopted by the EU, governments and institutions much more than a greening of...
    Working time reduction and climate crisis
  • The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office, a member of transform! europe, organises this online event focusing on the role of working time reduction when addressing climate change.
    The Horizon of Black Lives Matter
  • Co-organised by transform! europe, this webinar is dedicated to the question on how Black Lives Matter (BLM) can connect with Marxist Feminism in a global perspective. Watch the full video.
    Global Dialogue for Systemic Change
  • To share analysis, experiences, and alternatives in the face of growing health, social, economic, political, and environmental crises and to engage in national, continental, and worldwide discussions about the challenges we are facing, transform! europe supports the Global Dialogue for Systemic Change. We invite you to join in this process!


    The Horizon of Black Lives Matter
  • Co-organised by transform! europe, this webinar is dedicated to the question on how Black Lives Matter (BLM) can connect with Marxist Feminism in a global perspective. Watch the full video.
    Global Dialogue for Systemic Change
  • To share analysis, experiences, and alternatives in the face of growing health, social, economic, political, and environmental crises and to engage in national, continental, and worldwide discussions about the challenges we are facing, transform! europe supports the Global Dialogue for Systemic Change. We invite you to join in this process!