Seeking Power in a Community

Unions need to be on a mission to re-establish their historic mission, and there is no better time than now. 

 
After the declines in union membership since the mid 1980’s there is nothing new with this need. Unions need to recruit hundreds of thousands every year into the ranks from organised and non-organised workplaces just to stand still. But this is also the time to consider the broader communities in which trade unionists live and work, and the level of social activity and political engagement that does exist.
 
 
We are living in very interesting times. There is an increasing recognition that the balance of power between the interest of business and the interest of working people is now too far skewed in favour of business. Real wages are falling. There is a level of mass unemployment and under employment we’ve not experienced since the 1980’s. The austerity agenda is a programme of public expenditure reduction whose impacts are already being felt in every community. Sadly, I could go on…. Read More…

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

Unions need to recruit thousands of new members every year just to stand still. In times of recession it gets even harder to maintain membership levels when one factory closure can take away hundreds overnight. And the past few years has seen many factory closures, business bankruptcies, and mass redundancies.
According to the Office of Budget Responsibility, by 2015/2016 the public sector is likely to see more than 600,000 job losses, because of the governments spending cuts. In the private sector, such as banking some 47,000 jobs have been lost since the start of the credit crunch.
To a union declining members means declining income, viability and influence.

 

Even in the best of times unions need to recruit or die. The financial squeeze has been hitting many but even more so for smaller unions, in industries of a declining workforce. In the short term, those with large memberships, can make a slight raise in subscriptions per member to help cover any declining revenues. This though, is only fire fighting.

Read More…