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Scoping out an Islington New Deal for Workers initiative  


In 2020, a group of Islington Labour Councillors came together to consider how the Council could help protect workers’ rights in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to Islington Council’s collaboration with the TUC to launch the “Join a Union” campaign. Initial work was also started to draft Islington’s Good Work charter. 

In 2021, Islington Council partnered with the CAPE programme and brought together researchers, university staff, businesses and unions to look at how the Council can support Good Work. A key area of interest that emerged out of two roundtable discussions centred on the role the Council can play to tackle increasing precarity, insecurity and exploitative working practices in the labour market, which is often manifested through the gig economy and zero-hour contracts. 

We are aware of examples of trades unions and communities coming together to develop strategies to organise workers to tackle exploitative working practices. For example, Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise has been developing a model of “community unionism”, bringing the wider community and trades unions together to develop grassroots engagement focused on workplace organisation, and workers’ education.   

Islington would like to learn from Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise and explore how it can develop an evidence-informed ‘community unionism’ initiative that fits the Islington context. 

What would an Islington New Deal for Workers initiative look like? 

A partnership:  

The Aim:            

What will it do: 

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy & Jobs 

London Borough of Islington 

November 2021