Green Shoots from the Grass Roots? The National Shop Stewards Network

15 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2014

See all articles by Jo McBride

Jo McBride

University of Newcastle (Australia) - Newcastle Business School

John Stirling

University of Bradford

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the significance of the Internet in rebuilding a shop stewards movement in a time of circumscribed trade union organisation and power. It takes the National Shop Stewards Network as the focus for empirical research and places the argument within the broader context of two historical periods of trade union activity. The study finds significant historical parallels in terms of the key questions of the relationship between a network and a movement and the virtual and real worlds. It suggests that the Internet is particularly significant in forging horizontal rather than vertical links between shop stewards and unions and also provides the potential for mutual support and solidarity. However, the empirical research suggests different levels of engagement with the network, which the paper categorises and it also illustrates how a political party can become engaged in the networking activity.

Keywords: shop stewards movements, union renewal, unions and the Internet, labour movement revitalisation, worker activism, solidarity

Suggested Citation

McBride, Jo and Stirling, John, Green Shoots from the Grass Roots? The National Shop Stewards Network (March 2014). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 29, Issue 1, pp. 25-39, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2412282 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12024

Jo McBride (Contact Author)

University of Newcastle (Australia) - Newcastle Business School ( email )

City Campus East – 231
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE1 8ST, NE1 8ST
Australia

John Stirling

University of Bradford ( email )

Bradford
Bradford, West Yorkshire BD9 4JL
United States

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