‘Super-union’ Unite plans to boost membership by targeting casual workers and the young

New super-union Unite will measure its success in numbers, attempting to boost its membership by targeting casual staff and the young.

The UK’s two million-strong union – formed by the merger of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) and Amicus last week – will use 10% of its £150m annual income to unionise new workers.

Tony Woodley, the joint general secretary of the UK’s biggest union, told Personnel Today: “Within 12 months we want to have genuinely stemmed the decline of what was T&G and Amicus.

“Workers need a union more than ever before. The ‘casualisation’ of our country means we must appeal to those non-union members and young workers who are fearful for their jobs.”

Woodley said Unite would fight for non-permanent workers’ rights and fair treatment of young people.

“We must organise new workers to deliver improvements in wages and terms and conditions,” he said. “We must stop the decline of our movement.”

Unite was launched on 1 May, which was international workers’ day, and will have significant power in private sectors including transport, manufacturing, aviation and finance.

Despite Woodley pledging to use “industrial muscle” to “take on” any company it needed to, Unite’s other joint leader Derek Simpson failed to turn up at the official launch – leading to speculation about the internal politics of the organisation.

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