Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Importance of Being in a Union

Read with interest an article in The Guardian yesterday about corporations trying to stop employees joining unions. Of course, I have touched on this subject many times before (see previous entries) but it re-confirmed everything I have previously stated in this blog. Once again Asda are mentioned (hardly surprising due to its parent company) as was Sky (again not really surprising given the Murdoch connection). This seems to be a bigger problem in the US than it is in the UK but it is still a growing concern.

I have been a victim of much harassment in my previous workplace and I made the big mistake of not being a union member. My initial decision was a political one. I had no time for unions as they were tied to the Labour Party and I have no respect for the Labour party whatsoever (particularly in the last ten years). However, I realised my mistake as I began to suffer at the hands of a tyrannical manager who put unreasonable pressures and strains on most of the workforce. Fortunately for him, many people weren't in the union and consequently he got away with most of his abuses. I know that this kind of treatment is no rare thing. The worry is that it is a growing trend. Many people have no idea how important it is to unionise the workforce (I am as guilty on this one as most). I have seen people victimised and even sacked, when a union representative would have ensured such abuses were not carried out. Not matter how unimportant you think your job is, whether it is part-time or full-time, you must join your union and you must fight for union representation in your workplace.