Making first contact with non-member workers in a new workplace is getting steadily more difficult for unions. Our changing economy has for a long time meant that there are increasingly industries with higher union density, and others with little or none. Changing work patterns towards casualisation have made it harder for workers to meet each other or form relationships over time. And since the pandemic, the drive to working from home in many sectors has further reduced the scope for unions to meet workers in person other than in small numbers.
The first step to organising workers is always finding them, and the TUC has undertaken a number of pilot projects to make contact with new potential members. Alongside our wider campaigning work on outsourcing, we had another opportunity to learn more about this.
Continue reading Engaging childcare workers online – case study
Any organiser will tell you that nothing beats a face-to-face a conversation. It’s the best way to motivate, persuade and win campaigns. But in many workplaces, the last few years have made face-to-face conversations impossible. And this, coupled with restrictive trade union balloting laws, are a huge barrier to achieving the numbers we need if we aim to take industrial action.
As the UCU balloted members across 152 universities during a three-week window in 2021, these challenges were severe. Having face-to-face conversations with that many members, during a pandemic and in a short window would be impossible.
Continue reading Scaling peer-to-peer SMS campaigns in a national ballot – UCU case study
As MPs stood on their doorsteps and clapped, offered platitudes and had their pictures taken – there was a glimmer of hope for the millions of overworked and low-paid key workers who are keeping the country going during the pandemic. Many of us could be forgiven for assuming that these public displays of support might translate into meaningful improvements in pay and conditions for our hero key workers.
So when the chancellor decided to freeze the pay of public sector workers, to keep the minimum wage at a measly £8.72 and to continue letting companies use exploitative zero-hours contracts, it was clear that this government’s words and Tweets would not equal any significant action.
Continue reading New digital tactics behind our key workers’ pay rise campaign
We’re excited to be taking the next step in our work supporting unions’ online campaigns this week. Our 3 year old Going to Work campaign platform is about to transform into Megaphone UK, a revitalised campaigning platform for unions.
The platform allows for unions to start and run their own petitions and email actions, with support from the TUC digital team. It’s faster and easier than before, with unions gaining greater flexibility and control of messaging. Continue reading Introducing Megaphone UK, the TUC’s new online campaign platform