From the TUC

Swords of Justice AND Civic Pillars

31 Aug 2010, By

A new report commissioned by the TUC on the current nature and future of community engagement  by trades unions in the UK is released today.  The report, written as a result of a collaborative project involving the TUC, Goldsmiths and Darwin College, University of Cambridge finds that there is a compelling case to include community engagement in their organising and campaigning strategies. Amongst the benefits for unions in doing this are;

  • Help unions to engage difficult to organise segments of the workforce, particularly through the learning agenda
  • Enhance the capacity of unions to achieve their core objectives, most notably around service delivery
  • Project positive images of trade unionism in various ways, and

The report also identifies the factors that need to be present if union community engagement strategies are to be successful.  These include:

  • Trust and flexibility – on the part of both unions and community organisations
  • Leadership – in providing direction to community-based strategies
  • Involvement of union reps and activists – whose own networks can serve to create new community links and expand existing ones

The report argues that the time is ripe for greater community engagement by British trade unions given that on the one hand, the Big Society agenda may allow unions to promote their unique position between the community and the labour market and on the other, community-based strategies will be crucial to the success of campaigns against imminent public sector cuts, determining whether unions can successfully win the hearts and minds of the broader public.

If you would like a copy of the full report, please send me an email at [email protected]