From the TUC

Liam has had support from his rep since he was 18 – #heartunions

11 Feb 2017, By

8th – 14th February 2017 is #heartunions week, celebrating the great work unions do, and paying tribute to the reps who are an important part of that. The Unsung Heroes series is running all week, sharing stories from reps and members about how being part of their union has impacted their lives.

Liam first joined USDAW at 18 years old.

“I have always been really into history so I knew about everything the unions had done in the past to secure better conditions and pay for people. I have always believed in equality and fairness so joining a union seemed like the most logical step after getting my job at Tesco. Encouraged by conversations with a rep in my store I signed up and I have never regretted it.”

As a younger worker, just having a rep to guide and support him has been a huge help.

“I’ve always felt happier at work knowing if something were to happen my union would be right behind me to support me. Being a slightly hot-headed teen, I’m thankful now for having a great rep to talk to and give me calm advice.”

USDAW has also supported him in more practical ways in times of need.

“Even in more recent times when I had to have some time off for an operation the union supported me and even gave me a cheque to help make up for the wages I lost.

“I was once involved in an investigation surrounding a waste issue in our store and I remember being really nervous even though I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. Mikey, a rep in my store at the time, came to the meetings with me and gave me loads of advice which helped to put me at ease. Having him with me was such a relief, his knowledge and understanding of policy and procedures made sure I was able to prove my innocence. Without him I would have had no idea what I was doing. He definitely inspired me to become a rep myself so I could help others the way he helped me.”

Liam ends by pointing out that now is a hugely important time for people to consider joining a union if they haven’t already.

“I strongly believe that everyone should be a member of a union. Everything people take for granted like holidays, and health and safety would never have happened without the trade unions.

“In the current uncertainty in the wake of Brexit I know that it’s more important than ever before to have someone on your side, fighting for your rights.”

The big aim for #heartunions week is to encourage more people to join a union. Please share this page with friends, colleagues and neighbours. If we each get one person to join a union this week, we’ll be well on the way to getting a better deal for working people all year round.

To find a union – http://heartunions.org/about-joining-a-union/

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