Leverage is a process whereby the Union commits resources and time to making all interested parties aware of the treatment received by Unite members at the hands of an employer. Those interested parties may include shareholders of the employer; competitors of the employer; communities within which the employer operates; customers of the employer and the market place of the employer.
We ask all interested parties to make moral and ethical decisions about their future relations with an employer who we believe is acting immorally. Unite will make sure all are aware of the true facts behind an employer’s poor treatment of our members. We will ask those who object to the behaviour of an immoral employer to conduct in lawful protest against the actions of the employer. Where Unite members are involved in such lawful protest the union will use its best endeavours to ensure such members are aware of their rights of lawful protest.
Leverage is not a call for unofficial action. Leverage is about the democratic right of the Union to ensure that immoral employers cannot hide behind veils of secrecy and must conduct their business in an open and transparent fashion and accept the consequences of the moral judgements that may follow. It is in no way a replacement for collective strength. The development of industrial power remains vital if workers are to have the ability to win long-term. Leverage does not offer a solution that excludes the critical need to organise workers.
Leverage has secured landmark victories including:
- Honda - defeat of de-recognition at the CAC
- BESNA - defeat of the so-called BESNA 7 - construction industry ‘majors’ - who were seeking to rip up industry agreements and impose inferior contracts on thousands of workers
- Mayr Melnhof Packaging - satisfactory agreement reached following illegal site closure and lock-out
- London Buses - a supplementary payment gained following a dispute over additional workload caused by London’s hosting of the Olympics.