At a time of COVID-driven uncertainty, trade union membership is more important than ever
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, explains why trade union membership is even more relevant in light of the uncertainties brought about by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The vaccine is here and there is light at the end of the tunnel – or that’s what many of us would like to think on our more positive days, but the truth is we are living in turbulent times and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic remains both a threat to life and a threat to livelihoods.
Whether you are in employment or not, trade union membership brings both benefits and protection.
There is a reason that six million workers across the UK are in a union. Trade unionised workplaces have better safety records and higher pay. From firefighters and nurses to engineers and retail staff, trade union members enjoy protection if things go wrong and have their voice heard.
"We will continue to be the legal arm of the trade union movement, providing comprehensive employment law advice to help members whose workplace rights have been abused or ignored, or whose health and safety has been put at risk as a result of an inadequate response by their employers during a global pandemic."
Conservative governments have always sought to erode workers’ rights and allowed employers to get away with putting profit before safety. Sadly, as the economy recovers from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) employers will cut corners and a Conservative government with an 80-seat majority will be desperate not to stand in the way of anything that looks like economic activity.
Signing up to become a union member has never been more important than in these unprecedented times as the pandemic will have far-reaching implications beyond 2020 for all workers.
Throughout the lockdown months, unions have mobilised to help support those who have continued to work or lost their employment. We’ve seen them campaign for better safety measures and lobby for their members to be part of their conversation around furlough, pay or work-share arrangements to save jobs and to get the maximum support for those who have lost their jobs.
And Thompsons has been at their side, throughout. During 2020 - and in the months and years to come – we will continue to be the legal arm of the trade union movement, providing comprehensive employment law advice to help members whose workplace rights have been abused or ignored, or whose health and safety has been put at risk as a result of an inadequate response by their employers during a global pandemic.
It is quick, easy and affordable to join a union. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has left many with questions and concerns. Joining a union can provide answers and protection in an uncertain world.