More and more workers are realising that they need union protection. That’s why some unions have seen a big increase in membership during the coronavirus crisis. Unison, which represents workers in health and local government, has seen 16,000 people join so far this year, mostly in March and early April.
Why are unions growing as a result of the crisis? Because workers face new challenges and need the backing that being part of a union gives them.
Unions have demanded Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for key workers and campaigned against unsafe working practices. They've sought to persuade bosses to make-up the 20 per cent gap between workers normal pay and the government contribution to furloughed pay. Some companies have responded and made the pay up to the full 100 percent.
Where there are health risks at work unions are highlighting these and backing members who refuse to undertake risky tasks. GMB members working for Vivid Housing have been threatened with disciplinary action after they raised concerns about social distancing. The GMB is backing them. Solidarity has told its members that they will receive our backing if they have health and safety concerns and consider a job unsafe. Those not in a union are vulnerable and don't have this backing.
Our union has seen an increase in fake redundancies and bogus disciplinary actions aimed at getting rid of staff. We're fighting these for our members but who will fight for those not in a union? Those workers will be in a weak position without union protection.
Any crisis will be exploited by bad bosses and as with the post-2008 financial crisis they will use 'disciplinary's' to cull their workforce with those with less than 2 years service the most vulnerable. Who will those not in a union turn to for advice, guidance and support?
Many workers fear that once firms are re-trading will they cut down staff because of a smaller turnover. They may also argue that social distancing rules mean that they can only operate with a smaller workforce. Unions will fight this but who will fight for those not in a union?
Union membership is like an insurance policy for problems and dangers in your working life. You may only realise that you needed it when something happens to you. Would you wait for your house to burn down before you considered insurance?
We invite you to join our union Solidarity. We are a small union but we are passionate about defending our member's interests.
- The more workers who join us the stronger our voice will be.
- It's time for us all to make a stand for the interests of the British Worker.
- Membership fees are only £8 per month and can be paid monthly or yearly in advance for £96.
JOIN ONLINE NOW AND START YOUR UNION PROTECTION
The easiest way to join is online. We have monthly and annual subscription plans.
If you would like to pay monthly please click here
If you would like to pay for the year please click here