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

Source: Jo McBride, John Stirling, New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 29, Issue 1, March 2014
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From the 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.