It has never been more important in the history of our movement for this generation of trade union leaders and all trade unions to campaign and take action together in pursuit of shared industrial and political demands.
In 2020 we agreed to mobilise for the “New Deal for Workers” campaign, and we must now urgently up the ante on this by taking the following actions:
i. The existing TUC New Deal Charter must be sharpened with simple over- demands and a contemporary narrative.
ii. A mobilisation strategy must enable each union to pitch their key issues to their own members, whilst also linking this to the overarching demands and narrative of the New Deal campaign.
iii. The strategy must include coordinated activities to build union density and workplace activity in order that we can grow our strength from our base.
iv. A national rally will be held in spring 2022. In advance of this there will be a national tour and town hall style meetings to strengthen the campaign and the turnout for the rally.
v. All unions and their branches, TUC regions and trades councils will be asked to make the New Deal campaign an ongoing key agenda item, including a coordinated communications/engagement strategy in advance of the rally.
vi. We will build a social movement in support of the New Deal campaign by engaging community and appropriate national membership organisations.
vii. The heads of communication of each affiliate will meet once the mobilisation strategy has been agreed by the General Council to agree a joint approach to the public promotion of the New Deal campaign.
Congress agrees the New Deal mobilisation plan will be agreed by the General Council by October 2021 and will include an ongoing programme of action beyond the rally.
Congress notes there are currently around 18 million non-unionised workers in the private sector in the UK. Only 10 per cent of workers aged 16–24 in any sector of the UK are in a union. Around 40 per cent of all current union members are over 50.
We are not recruiting enough young members to replace those members whom we will lose to retirement over the next 10–15 years.
Congress believes if we don’t do something different, the future of trade union membership in the private sector will continue to decline.
Serious commitment from the movement to address these challenges has already started.
Last summer, the TUC General Council and the general secretaries of all TUC affiliates signed up to the TUC Organising Pledge.
The pledge commits the movement to addressing six strategic challenges, which is a positive initiation.
However, so much has changed, at pace, since making this commitment and therefore Congress calls on the General Council to go a stage further, which would include:
a. a concentrated, focused, digital marketing campaign specifically aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds in the private sector
b. a dedicated budget and resource to support and work with affiliates to help achieve increased membership in the private sector.
Mover: Communication Workers Union
Supporters: National Education Union, University and College Union