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The Rise of the Unorganizable

Wildcat strikes in informal sectors are challenging unions’ assumptions about where and who to organize.

Are They Really Unorganizable?

These campaigns contradict long-held beliefs about organizing casualized labor. Their frequency and reach — which continue to rise — and the high strike ballot turnouts indicate strong worker participation.

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And yet mainstream unions rely on a self-defeating set of organizing criteria that makes these workers invisible. Trade Union Congress (TUC) unions often shy away from casual workers for a variety of reasons: some lack the skills, experience, and resources to organize this sector. Others have performed cost-benefit analyses that indicate such campaigns aren’t worth their time. Some even believe that casual workers don’t count as real workers and therefore fall beyond their scope.

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