What is the point of joining a union?

My generation, for the first time since the end of World War 2, will be worse off than our parents. As shocking as it is, it is not surprising. The rise of the job agency, which is becoming more and more like the only route to employment, keeps young workers on an unlivable, minimum wage. Many young workers can’t afford to move out and get there own place. Prices are rising, but wages are not, and our bosses and their lackies in government are doing whatever they can to drive down wages and cut corners. We all known why they do it, the less they can pay us, the more they can keep for themselves. It is a lot cheaper for construction firms to ignore health and safety rules and hire untrained labour, but this costs hundreds of young workers their lives every year.

And what can we do? Complain to a superviser, who is either on 50p an hour more than you but thinks he/she is the biggun or a snivelling jobsworth who won’t think twice about crying to senior managers. What’s the point? I suppose the agency could sort you out with another job, where they are still taking pounds an hour off your pay and where you will still be screwed daily? Again what’s the point? The only real, long term option for young workers is joining the union.

Firstly, if a group of workers are organised in a trade union, they have at least got one leg to stand on. Whether its bullying bosses or job cuts, unionised workers have the ways and the means of fighting back, whereas in ununionised workplaces, its a lot easier for the bosses to get away with it.

Secondly, if a workplace is united in a trade union, then it is much harder for the employers to divide you and your fellow worker bees, and drive down wages. It’s something thats happening a lot at the moment, bosses highering cheap migrant labour, and because of the division and racism that has been stoked up by the press, the government and the ruling elite as a whole, indigeonous workers end up blaming migrant workers for poor wages, pointing the finger of blame at people in the same boat, instead of the real culprits, who are just trying to screw us all to get richer. Where migrant and indigenous workers are united together, they have fought together for better pay, to defend jobs and for skills training.

Everything we have, from the right to free speach to the National Health Service has been won because working class people have been organised and fought for them. If this generation doesn’t get organised then the ruling classes of big business, politicians and newspaper editors will roll back even further the rights that generations, before us, have won.

They need us more than we need them, we could do our jobs perfectly well without them, we could run society much better without them…they are organised, so we should be too. Join a union today.