In response to falling union membership among young people, the TUC has today launched a pilot version of a new app – WorkSmart – that helps young people to progress at work, build relationships with co-workers, and learn about their rights.
Information on Health & Safety at work rights and legislation and the work of Trade Union Safety Reps will be included by default, given that healthy and safe working places is a trade union 'bread and butter' issue and one which 'kick-started' the birth of Trade Unionism in the first place.
The TUC says that the project has been in development for two years, and aims to develop a model of trade unionism better-suited to a new generation of workers. 1,000 young workers have already signed up.
The WorkSmart app will provide a modern way of paying Union subs and is based on the model used by music streaming services such as Spotify, with workers encouraged to pay for some added services while also being 'persuaded' into joining the Trade Union for their industry. Click the pic to go to the Worksmart App web pages.
In a press release issued 4th June, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“We’re creating a lost generation of younger workers. Too many young people are stuck in low-paid, insecure jobs, with little opportunity to get on in life.
This is the most qualified group of workers ever. But huge numbers of hardworking young people are struggling to meet basic living costs – and many more can’t afford a home of their own or are putting off having children.
150 years on from the founding of the TUC, joining together in a trade union is still the best way to get a better deal at work. But unions need to reach out to the young workers in workplaces where there isn’t a union.
That’s why today we’ve launched a new pilot, WorkSmart – to find a way to get the benefits of trade unions to the young workers who need us most.”
Giving further details in an article published this week in The Guardian, Frances said:
“If we’ve got a digital economy we’ve got to have digital trade unionism. And if we have young people whose bosses will do everything they can to avoid recognising a union, we don’t walk away, we reinvent ourselves, we do something new. If you can’t get through the front door, you go around the back. I want that spirit that we are a ‘have-a-go’ movement.”
She concluded by saying:
“Conventional trade unionism still works very effectively in some areas but what’s clear is that business models have radically changed. Unions have to change too – change or die.”
Source: TUC / The Guardian / unionsafety