In the past the trade union movement has been very much focused on the needs of that industry rather than taking a more holistic view and looking at where that industry sat on the supply chain and where we as a movement could exert influence in one sector to resolve an issue in another.
The Industrial Hub idea is to do just that and see if we can have influence by looking at the bigger picture and working across sectors centered on the point of entry and exit from the UK.
As a consequence Unite is bringing together workers from across our membership to see what support each sector can provide to another. Additionally Unite will be working with other unions internationally in conjunction with the International Transport workers Federation (ITF), in each of the targeted areas to see if we can work in solidarity toward a common goal.
The first stage of this process is to map where the union’s membership lies and hence where we have influence over the supply chain. Initially this will focus on the 10 busiest container ports but this model would work just as well with airports or inland freight terminals at a later date.
Already this cross industrial sector and cross national border initiative has obtained some encouraging results with companies opening the doors to negotiation on access to their workforce and recognition where previously they were totally against any trade union involvement.