UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

LRD report confirms #N30 linked membership surge across all public sector unions

All trade unions are reporting big increases in the rate of recruitment during the final quarter of 2011. The surge in union membership because of the Pensions disputes - including in the private sector - is confirmed by research carried out by the independent Labour Research Depeartment (LRD).

UNISON reports its own 'spike' in membership as part of the findings and other unions who took strike action for the first time in decades have reported similar increases - including ATL and Prospect. GMB and Unite report increases in local government and in the private sector, with the current Unilever Pensions dispute being a recruitment factor.

Sustaining these increases is the biggest challenge facing the unions, especially in a climate of austerity. An environment of massive job losses, service cuts and privatisation is an extremely difficult one for unions, especially when coupled with threats to union facilities such as time off and check off arrangements.

But this report sums up what we all knew - an active campaigning union that is relevant to the workers has the best chance to grow.