Trade Unions in Leeds on Working Hours Podcast

Anyone talking about work or work history is not telling the whole story when they censor or erase labour history. As anyone who has listened to Working Hours will know, trade unions are important to me, and I think they’re vitally important to work and the story of work.

Loiners who knows anything about the history of Leeds and the history of Britain know how important trade unions are. Those that don’t see the world like the economists with economic models that don’t feature energy, money or banks. If someone is telling a story about work and they don’t talk about unions, they’re only telling you partial truths.

I haven’t talked about unions every episode and I’m still thinking about how I want to make them a more regular part of the conversation. Of course that would be easier if unions encouraged their Leeds members to come on.

Anyway, while I think on that have a listen to these episodes where me and my guest discuss unions.

If you’re a Loiner in a trade union why not come on the show and tell me what your union has or hasn’t done for you? Oh! And I recognise that union membership is a protected category and not every can just flaunt their membership but, you can appear on Working Hours anonymously – if that helps.

Drop me an email at to be a guest and tell me what you do.

Episode 3 was the first episode to discuss trade unions. It’s an anonymous episode recorded pre-pandemic.

Click the link to listen and find out more:

Unions don’t really show up again for a while but, in series 3 episode 2 Work is Communicative we have a conversation with another active union member who is also a climate activist – among other things.

Click the link to listen and find out more:

Work is Planning is the 7th episode of series 3. Unions come up here almost by accident but, become an important part of the conversation.

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Work is People, the 16th episode of series 3 gives us a very interesting angle on unions as I talk to a HR professional about her experiences of working with and dealing with unions.

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Okay, now we are talking unions. The 50th episode of Working Hours talks to David Williams from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU). Probably one of the least disliked unions because most people love firefighters. This is good conversation touching on how firefighters (and by extension all our other public servants) have had their pay cut by more than a decade of austerity and then been further hit by the impacts of CoVid19 and Brexit. Not to mention having to deal with the most fires since WW2 this summer.

Most of Britain’s public sector seems to be on their last legs now and for me that really comes across here.

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This is a great conversation with a career long railway worker and a life long union member. We discuss the 2022 industrial action, changes in the railway and changes in the union.

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Episode 32 of series 3 sees the first real discussion of unions again on the show and even here it’s only briefly. Still, it’s definitely worth a listen, not only because this is on of the most downloaded episodes but also because our discussion covers so much ground.

Click the link to listen and find out more:

Working Hours is a free to listen to, long form interview podcast about and made in Leeds, UK. The show wants to speak to one thousand Loiners over the course of the 2020s and see what they do for work, what they think about it and what they might do differently.

Working Hours covers everything that work covers, everything this decade gives us and everything that makes Leeds a city in the UK.

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