Conference deplores the fact that more than 30 years of anti-union legislation by successive Governments has led to the present situation where barely 25% of workers are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. In the private sector this figure falls to around 16%. This is the lowest level of collective bargaining coverage anywhere in Europe with the exception of Lithuania.
Employers have taken full advantage of this to hold wage levels below inflation and put more and more workers on minimum wages, zero hours contracts, bogus self employment and others measures of precarious employment conditions.
Conference reinforces its commitment to support members who take action for better wages and benefits, health and safety, against casualisation, unfair dismissal and to protect jobs, whatever the stipulations laid down by anti-trade union laws.’
But more needs to be done
Conference calls upon UNITE’s Executive Council to develop a coherent programme to promote unionisation across the industries and services where we have an influence. We can no longer tolerate a situation where a UNITE recognised and organised workplace is facing competition from a low cost non-union site. Nor can we leave this problem to an over-stretched Organising Department.
We call on UNITE’s Executive Council to develop strategies to organise and unionise these workers using our army of UNITE shop stewards and activists, our Area Activist Committees, and in cooperation with Trades Councils where they are active, in local campaigns, together with our Full Time Officers, to take the drive to unionise unorganised workers in similar/sister workplaces