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 Denis Gregory, Director of the Trade Union Research Unit at Ruskin College, Oxford discussed the establishment of the Wales Coop Development and Training Centre, in which trade union involvement was central.
Dr Alastair Reid, of Girton College, Cambridge, revisited the years when the Liberals and the unions worked closely together. Baroness Susan Kramer, formerly Liberal MP for Richmond Park and Shadow Transport Secretary, offered reflections on relations between the Liberal Democrats and trade unions today.
Professor Andrew Thorpe, of Exeter University, and Billy Hayes, General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union, examined key aspects of the Labour Party's relationship with the trade unions.
H&P consultant historian Rupert Griffin outlined the progress of his research for H&P's Trade Union Education Project, as well as a proposed model for involving historians in union research projects and membership development.
The Wapping dispute was and is intensely controversial. The Trade Union Forum brought together Tony Burke (Unite), Baroness Dean (SOGAT), Tricia Dawson (University of Westminster) and Greg Neale (former refusenik journalist) to discuss the printers' strike.
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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.