Unite increased its membership by more than 50,000 during 2012 – despite a double-dip recession and the continual anti-trade union rhetoric from government ministers.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Unite, as the country’s largest union, has been in the forefront of standing up for working people against this government’s cruel economic and social policies – and will continue to do so in 2013.
“Working people recognise that the trade union movement is the last line of defence against a rapacious government that is only happy when it is giving large tax breaks to its ‘friends’ in the City and attacking the rights of ordinary working people.
“People are not taken in by the anti-trade union rhetoric peddled by the coalition’s ministers. At a time of economic uncertainty ordinary people know that Unite is on their side fighting for them.
“We will be stepping up our organising in workplaces across the UK in 2013, as the assaults on working people and their employment rights continue from this government – a recent example being the plan to reduce the current minimum consultation period for large scale redundancies from 90 to just 45 days.
“Rogue employers and the government are on notice that the economic crisis cannot be used as an excuse to erode the living standards and rights of workers.”
Unite has made big membership gains amongst bus, coach and ferry workers; in the car industry and its supply chain; in the aerospace industries; and in food and drink companies which rely heavily on agency workers, as well as in the public sector – the NHS and local government.
Len McCluskey added: “The message that Unite has been proclaiming since 2010 – that economic polices must be geared to growth and an agenda of fairness rings true with working people fed up with being bullied by Cameron’s ‘We are all in this together’ mantra.
“Our growth as a union across the public sector reflects the real concern that people have about the future of public services, particularly the privatisation of the NHS, and the fear that the sick and the ill will have to pay for treatments in the future that were once ‘free’.
“Our fight against the privatisation of the NHS is reflected by the fact that our health sector membership has jumped by over 3,000 in 2012.”
Unite has 1.5 million members.
For further information, please contact Unite senior communications officer, Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.