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NELH First Tuesday: Unemployed Resistance (1978 – Now), Trade Unions and Community Organising, Paul Griffin (Northumbria University)

3 October 2023 @ 19:00 - 20:30

This talk will reflect on the politicisation of unemployment across UK towns and cities in the early 1980s. With a particular focus on trade union and community organising, the presentation will reflect on the role of Unemployed Workers’ Centres in articulating opposition to deindustrialisation, redundancies, and long-term unemployment.

Focusing upon centres as ‘solidarity infrastructures’ allows an analysis that considers the quieter acts of care and advice alongside organising practices and campaigning. This paper revisits these histories through archives and oral histories of unemployed organising and includes reflections on the People’s March for Jobs 1981, the emergence of TUC Unemployed Workers’ Centres and wider unemployed resistances.

Dr Paul Griffin is an Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Northumbria University. His work cuts across labour geography and labour history and has previously considered the historical geographies of Red Clydeside, tracing labour histories in Glasgow during the early twentieth century.

More recently, his work has focussed upon the role of trade unions in society and particularly the links with community action around unemployment. His next project proposes to consider the histories of the emergence of credit unions as a form of solidarity economy.

His work can be found in journals such as Antipode, Geoforum, Political Geography and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.


3 October 2023
19:00 - 20:30


Room ELA 108, Ellison Building
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne,
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