The biggest union in the UK and Ireland becomes a digital pioneer with the launch today (Wednesday) of its new mobile phone service and new website. Both are set to power further the union's growing social media profile.
The new phone service sees Unite join forces with new mobile phone service provider, the People's Operator (TPO), to offer a lower cost mobile service to all Unite members, their friends and family.
Unite has calculated that the average family on Unite/TPO pay as you go service could save over £1,700 per year, while the monthly contracts, being rolled out early next year, could also put more money back into the family pot.*
Launching both the mobile service and the new website, general secretary Len McCluskey said: "In the week that saw the twentieth anniversary of the first ever text message sent, this union is now at the forefront of using mobile technology to bring members closer to their union.
“Our mobile phone service will ensure that we are with our members, in their pockets, never more than a call or text away. It is not just a high quality service, it is also a great deal in tough times.
"Our new website means that members current and potential can see at a glance what this union offers to them and the efforts we make day in, day out, on their behalf.
"We won't be resting here though. We want to use digital communications to bringing our members’ daily experiences to wider attention. Too often, the lives of working people are overlooked by the traditional media; we want their stories told and will be using our new media channels to do so.
"It was our members, after all, who, through our free text service, identified the scourge of pay day loan sharks and predicted the tough times for retailers not quick to respond to the austerity chokehold on households.
"Digital communications helps us make our members heard. That is why I am truly proud to say that Unite is committed to being these islands' leading digital union."
Unite already runs a free text service for its members. Launched in 2011, the service has followed the lives of members through the cuts and supported them through industrial action. Some 350,000 members are now in regular mobile contact with the union.
Last week, Unite was pronounced the leading union on Twitter by industry expert Simon Parry of Infobo. The union also passed 15,000 Twitter followers, putting it on a par with leading digital campaign group 38 degrees.
The union's text survey of members is thought to be the biggest of its kind in the country. The next phase will look at how the welfare reforms are impacting on working people.
For further information contact James Bevan on 07711 347 645.
Notes to Editors:
Members and their families can sign up for the Unite/TPO service by texting SIM to 86888
You can follow Unite on Twitter @unitetheunion
To join Unite's free phone text service, text CUTS to 86888
*comparisons are based on expected usage and TPO’s current pricing structure as at Dec 2012