Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, has developed a new online tool to give union activists the resources they need to win higher pay for members.
Real earnings in the UK have declined overall by as much as 10% during the last decade, according to the TUC, with workers suffering from a prolonged period of wage stagnation. At the same time, company profits have grown from 11.4% to 12.6%, says Unite.
Unite, which has 1.42 million members across the UK and Ireland, designed the Pay Claim Generator as part of an industrial strategy entitled ‘Work, Voice, Pay’, which aims to empower union members. The interactive website gives union reps rapid access to the latest financial information, and evidence to counter employers’ claims that pay increases are not affordable.
At the click of a mouse, union reps can gather up-to-date information from Companies House, the Office for National Statistics and the union’s own database, containing the details of tens of thousands of pay deals. It then guides them through the potential workplace issues union members want raised as part of their pay negotiations, drawing up within minutes a professional and comprehensive pay and conditions claim taking account of their company’s financial performance, ability to pay, the latest economic indicators and pay deals in other comparable companies.
“Unite is working with members to ensure they have the best tools, information and representation to increase their pay and conditions,” said Unite executive officer Sharon Graham. “Unite’s Pay Claim Generator will help stop employers from claiming pay rises are not affordable where they clearly are. “Over the last decade, pay has shrunk while company profits are up, and corporation tax is down,” she added. “Workers deserve their fair share of the profits they created.” Unite has helped members to secure higher pay in companies like Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Thomas Cook and Virgin. “Workers do better when they are in a union,” concluded Sharon Graham.
Find out more about the Pay Claim Generator