TUC: Leading trade union organisers to explore how to ‘make bosses pay’

How can young workers get organised and lead the union movement?

This month’s TUC Congress will see activists and trade unionists discuss how young workers can organise to ‘make bosses pay’.

Congress – hosted online – sees 48 unions debates and agree motions which help direct the policy of the UK’s trade union movement.

All fringe events are online this year and will be open to anyone interested, not just formal delegates.

Monday 13th September sees a virtual panel discussion, with speakers offering perspectives on issues prompted by Eve Livingston’s forthcoming book “Make Bosses Pay”, published by Pluto Books.

The book focuses on young workers being key to the evolution of the labour movement. It examines their experience of work – and the strategies that will be needed to reach them and support them in organising to take control of their working lives.

Much of this will require change inside unions to help make them relevant to young workers’ expectations.

The event will hear from Eve first on the premise of her book, and features high profile figures from across the movement, as well as a Q&A.

The TUC says it plans to run a ‘fast-paced and challenging event’, putting forward young workers’ perspectives.  


  • Clare Coatman, TUC senior campaigner
  • Eve Livingston, journalist and author.
  • Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC – Shav is General Secretary of the Wales TUC. She previously worked for the union PCS, and leads on organising Black workers for the TUC’s antiracism taskgroup
  • Jana Mills, Small Axe – Jana helped set up The Small Axe, which runs campaigns for many social sector organisations, including the NEU’s School Cuts campaign in 2017
  • Sarah Woolley, BFAWU – Sarah is the General Secretary of the Baker’s Union, responsible for their work organising low paid workers in McDonalds, Greggs and other workplaces
  • Lauren Townsend, CWU – Lauren is an organiser at the Communication Workers’ Union, and was previously a leading Unite activist in the TGI Fridays dispute
  • Bryan Simpson, Unite  – Bryan is a leading organiser for Unite’s hospitality sector in Scotland, working with the grassroots group Better Than Zero.
  • Sarah Jaffe, journalist – Sarah has written extensively about trade union issues in the UK and the US, and is the author of Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone and Necessary Trouble

The TUC will have both BSL interpretation and a speech-to-text service for the event.


The event on Monday 13 September, 6.45pm to 7.45pm is open and free to join. People can register for the Zoom call here.

The Twitter hashtag for Congress this year is #TUC21

Anyone registering for the event will get a 20% off promo code for a hard copy of the book when it launches later this month.

This piece is sponsored by the TUC. See all the free events at this year’s online Congress.

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