H&P's Trade Union and Employment Forum meets several times a year, bringing together trade unionists with professional historians and other interested groups. It considers trade union issues against their historical background, exploring different perspectives on the past and the present in order to suggest new lines of policy for the future.
Its regular meetings have covered such themes as: political funding and relations with the main political parties; attitudes towards the European Union; democracy in the workplace; and apprenticeship and training. It has also organised higher-profile events to mark the anniversaries of pivotal moments, such as the 1986 Wapping dispute in the printing industry, and the 1984 miners’ strike. When the opportunity presents itself, the Forum works in partnership with other organizations, including a session at the Unions 21 annual conference and a fringe event at the Trades Union Congress.
We are always keen to hear from potential participants, co-organizers and sponsors. If you or your organization would like to be involved, please contact one of the Management Committee.
Dr Jim Moher suggested that Walter Osborne's campaign in the 1900s shed important light on individual/collective tensions over the trade union political levy, while Tony Dubbins (Trade Unions for Labour) argued that the unions were still a popular voluntary force which were not treated with sufficient respect in reviews of party funding.
Professor Richard Whiting suggested that a generation of social change had made the struggles of the 1970s look like a 'medieval drama', while Professor Peter Ackers argued that partnership between management and unions was now the only alternative to a government-driven neo-liberal approach.
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H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.
We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.