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Trade Union Strike, Jeremy Corbyn Speech
Credit: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/corbyn-sounds-like-cicero-after-comrades-tongue-tied-rhetoric-k05vcm7cc Credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-35522164

Trade unions look to protect and improve a multitude of aspects of working life in both the public and private sectors.

Whether it’s workplace conditions, wages and benefits, or overall job security, it really does pay to be a part of a trade union, especially for young people. 

Sadly though, young people have been known to be apathetic towards engaging in the political process. As a result of such disengagement, young people face being disproportionately affected by the consequences of not having union backing post-Brexit compared to older union members.

Any negative economic effects of Brexit on young public and private sector workers should be softened if membership of trade unions increases and the protection of rights is secured.

Jeremy Corbyn’s political career began as a trade union official, and at the TUC Conference he stressed their huge and continued importance – not only in the wake of some of the most restrictive anti-union laws in Europe, but also in a  post-Brexit Britain.

Corbyn’s mantra of ‘for the many, not the few’ underpinned his boisterous address.

An energetic rallying cry to help reverse the yearly trend of dwindling trade union membership, which last year saw a drop of 275,000 members to around 6.2 million – less than half of the peak membership figures in 1979 (13 million)

The public sector, with an estimated 2.6 million union members, has been badly hit by Conservative austerity measures (such as the 1% pay cap) in a farcical attempt to cut the ever-growing deficit.

Attempts by the government and the right-wing press to ‘divide and conquer’ public sector workers over wages and working conditions has only strengthened the need for trade unions to act.

In response to the government’s stance on the public sector pay cap, the TUC voted unanimously for co-ordinated action and campaigns. This is welcoming news after the Trade Union Act 2016 was introduced, which now makes larger strikes in the public sector more difficult to organise, as a majority turnout of eligible balloted members is required. Also, 40% of public sector workers who are eligible to vote are required to vote for strike action to be taken. Workers who don’t vote, are taken as ‘no’ voters. 

Jeremy Corbyn, speaking on how a post-Brexit Britain under a Labour Government would look, said: 

Labour wants a jobs-first Brexit where work pays, employees have security and decent conditions and prosperity is shared.

Corbyn wants YOU to join a trade union. With the Tories in complete disarray over Brexit, coupled with their utter contempt for unions and their attempts to consign them to Lib Dem-style irrelevance, there is no certainty that your rights as workers are going to be protected post-Brexit. The only way to ensure that they are not only protected, but enhanced, is to get involved, get engaged, and get signed up. 

The nature of work may have changed, but the importance of trade unions has not. 

Get involved, join a trade union today

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