They may talk tough, but they are failing British workers. A new Fabian Pamphlet, Raising Lazarus, argues that the 'fighting back' strategy and rhetoric adopted by left-wing British union leaders risks making them irrelevant. As the pamphlet points out, union membership has fallen from over 12 million in 1979 to 6.4 million today - yet 62% of workers support a collective voice in the workplace. Many potential new union members are put off by "union rhetoric of struggle, strikes and strife which has little appeal to employees who care more about getting on than getting even".
The pamphlet was written by David Coats, former chief economist at the TUC and now associate director of the Work Foundation. Unfortunately it is not available online, but can be ordered from the Fabians.