How do Marxists, as a minority within the trade union movement, operate to provide effective leadership? How have they done so in the past? How can they do so again in a situation where union power has been greatly weakened?
This essay discusses the way in which Marxists operate within the trade union movement and in particular focuses on the idea of ‘broad left’ organising. The essay looks at the conditions within which Marxists were able to exert considerable influence using the broad left approach during the 1960s and 70s and examines the extent to which this is still an appropriate way for Marxists to operate in today’s union movement.
Finally the essay offers suggestions for debate on what are the core issues, necessary alliances and organisational forms through which Marxists can help build a revitalised union left and provide leadership in the current situation.