Social Movements and Trade Unions


    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...


    The Right to the City. Urban Commons and Sustainable Cities
  • Due to the local character of most Commons initiatives it’s obvious that cities are preferred places. From social housing to urban gardening to digital citizenship to public cultural spaces to educational initiatives to healthcare-centres to direct farmers-consumers-cooperatives to workers’...
    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.


    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,...