Over the past decade Unite members in Ireland have faced range of challenges. Low pay remains endemic throughout the Region, and precarious work is on the rise.
In Northern Ireland, we are fighting to maintain our manufacturing base, and the jobs and skills that go with it. At the same time, we are struggling to defend and advance our members’ interests in the absence of a functioning Executive.
In the Republic, Unite is fighting to ensure that working people share equally in the economic recovery – while also struggling for the collective bargaining rights taken for granted in the rest of the EU.
The issues affecting Unite members are common to all working people: Job security, pay, equality and pensions remain central to the struggles facing our class and our union. The advent of new technology has brought about new challenges: the decline of traditional industries and the emerging service economy has meant that our union has had to find new methods of recruitment and organisation in order to bring into the movement all workers including more women, disabled people and migrant workers.
And Brexit is already bringing its own challenges in both Northern Ireland and the Republic – and, especially, in border areas.
In confronting and overcoming these challenges, our unity is our strength – and this was never clearer than in our successful battle to defeat Donald Trump’s protectionist tariffs and preserve thousands of jobs in Bombardier.
But success in one battle must not foster complacency – rather, it should simply make us determined to win further battles.
In order to continue winning for members, we need to continue growing our union. Unite's regions and nations will soon switch to their own sites bringing members more information about their union locally and you can find more information here.