The TUC are running a a special week of activities to highlight the amazing work trade unions do. This is really important at this time when the (anti) Trade Union Bill is coming before the House of Lords. The government aims to make unions powerless, so employers can roll back the employment rights that have been hard won by trade unionists over many decades.
What rights? Just a few little things like weekends and holidays, sick pay and maternity/paternity rights, protection against unfairness and bullying and unfair dismissal, the right to retire with a pension, equal pay, and much more.
Watch this great Youtube video at https://t.co/RaNgCMV6A7
Some people think that these rights are now normal practice and unions are not needed any more. This is a bit like saying that everyone understands the rules of the road so we don’t need road signs and traffic lights. Without unions constantly on the watch, employers would be free to reduce pay and conditions and safety standards, sack anyone they don’t like, and generally make our working lives miserable in the pursuit of maximum profit.
The Conservatives, along with much of the press, like to portray trade unions as irresponsible and selfish, constantly striking and causing havoc for no good reason. But the rights at work that we have today came from brave people, ordinary people, making sacrifices to fight injustice and create a fairer society by withdrawing their labour. It’s important that we can continue to do this when necessary.
For more information about #heartunions and the Trade Union bill visit http://heartunions.org/
What you can do – please help spread the word about #heartunions week. Share the video on Facebook, tweet about #heartunions and just chat to your colleagues, friends and relations about why we need trade unions.
And if you’re not yet a member of UCU, it’s easy to join online – go to https://www.ucu.org.uk/join