Hi, I’m William. I’m 16 and in July 2016 I spent a week on work experience with UNISON.
I’m a BIG supporter of trade unions, compassion, community and digital, so this was a natural fit for me. I wrote some words about how I’d digitally modernise UNISON and this what I said.
Technology has completely revolutionised the way many of us live our lives, from the advent of the Internet to mobile phones and social networks today, technology has, and will continue to play an ever increasingly large role in our lives.
Trade unions have largely remained ambivalent towards these changes preferring older methods of communication such as call centres and magazines as opposed to more modern methods of communication, this is due to the older demographics of trade unions often relying on local government officials for their membership. Yet younger people are the undisputed future of this union, simply because as more young people who have never lived without this new technology in their lives enter the workplace it is vital that the union reforms as not to alienate them.
The majority of young people have no understanding or appreciation for the complex structures of unions, and need some other way of engaging in them, we need to change the image of unions, among young people, from big imposing organisations, that get in the way of government policy, to a welcoming, friendly at vital organisation, that can help workers fight for their rights. This drastic change can be achieved easily through new technology, where we can engage with and teach, the younger generation about what unions are all about. Therefore it is of paramount importance that unions try to modernise, turning away from out-dated methods of communication, like magazines and use emails instead. If you think about it, it costs millions of pounds to send magazines to the entire membership, imagine if we could completely circumvent these costs by using email instead, sending a PDF to all of our members.
However to do this, we must get the email addresses of much of our membership, and so we must in future put much thought into this matter as to find a solution. We owe it to future generations to save unions and bring them into the present day.