Organising black and minority ethnic workers: trade union strategies for recruitment and inclusion.
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This research explores the challenges that trade unions face in organising workers in southeast England in the context of union decline and labour market change. It focuses particularly on what trade unions are doing to organise black and minority ethnic (BME) workers and assesses strategies that are being developed for increased recruitment and inclusion of these workers. While the issue of women's involvement in trade unions has received attention from a variety of researchers with a few exceptions, there is a relative paucit) of recent work relating to BME workers and their relationship with trade unions. The research addresses the issue of disadvantage faced by BME workers: both in the labour market and in trade unions and the impact this has on trade union density. It explores whether the particular nature of uneven development in London provides clues as to the specific nature of trade unionism in this region, where union density is the lowest in the UK. The nature of this uneven development is characterised. primarily, in terms of unequal wealth and class relations, but at the same time it is also acutely racialised. This manifests itself not only in an unequal spatial distribution of labour but also in an ethnic spatial distribution of labour which has an impact on the involvement of BME workers in trade unions in the region. In contrast to much of the research carried out on trade unions, this work takes a geographical perspective on labour organisation by looking at how organisational scale impacts on trade union campaigns. It is believed that de\eloping new forms of trade union organisation, which extend beyond the workplace, could be a key factor the successful recruitment of BME workers
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