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.
H&P's Trade Union Forum explored the unions during the First World War at its 15 November 2014 meeting. Professor Jerry White, of Birkbeck, University of London, spoke about London's trade unions, and Dr Deborah Thom, of Robinson College, Cambridge, talked about women, socialism, unionism and protest.
A report by Roger Jeary of this public conference is now available. Bringing together union leaders, strike participants, historians, legal scholars and journalists, the event offered fascinating and at times charged insights into an industrial dispute that changed the landscape of trade unionism in Britain.
At a special session on this theme Dr Jim Moher, former National Legal Secretary of the Communication Workers Union, drew together the threads of the previous four sessions and led off further discussion to open up new perspectives on policy, at what turned out to be a very opportune time as regards wider public discussions about the funding of political parties.
Professor Kevin Morgan of the University of Manchester gave a historical account of contrasting phases in the CP's activities, and a number of regular participants in Forum meetings then made short contributions on their own experiences.
Helen Ford, the senior archivist at the Modern Records Centre, Warwick University, and Christine Coates, the librarian of the Trades Union Congress Library collection at London Metropolitan University gave detailed and balanced accounts of the current state of play in their organisations.
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H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.
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.