As new figures show that trade union membership increased for the third year in a row, Scotland’s leading trade unionist has called on workers to join a union.
Official statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that trade union membership increased by 15,000 in Scotland last year. Women, who already make up more than half of trade unionists, are responsible for most of the increase.
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), representing over half a million trade union members in Scotland, has reported receiving more requests than ever about workers’ rights from non-unionised workers. The STUC’s Better Than Zero campaign have been working tirelessly to match workers with the appropriate union in order to collectivise.
Scotland’s most senior trade unionist, Roz Foyer, who was recently appointed as the first ever woman General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, said:
“Today’s figures show what we have long suspected – trade unions are back. The latest figures show that we are a growing movement, with more and more people recognising the value of coming together with their colleagues through a union to have their voices heard.
“This rise has not happened by chance or by accident, it’s due to the hard work and dedication of the trade union movement’s workplace representatives.
“While these figures are encouraging, we cannot allow ourselves to get complacent, the number of trade union members needs to keep growing if we are to build the kind of Scotland that benefits workers.
“Coronavirus has highlighted the fundamental value of workers to keep people safe and keep society running. Yet many employers have treated their workforce with little more than contempt. The case of Wetherspoons refusing to furlough their staff until the workers demanded it through their union has stuck in the minds of many.”
“There has never been a more vital time to join a union, to collectivise with your colleagues and fight for healthier, fairer and safer workplaces.
The ONS report detailing the latest trade union membership figures is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/trade-union-statistics-2019