Union membership up for third year running
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) released the annual figures for union membership in the UK. These show that the number of union members in the UK in 2019 rose 91,000 to 6.44 million – the third year of increases after the fall to a low of 6.23 million in 2016. This means the proportion of UK employees who were union members in 2019 was 23.5%.
According to the ONS the rise in membership – which was significantly higher in the public sector than the private one – was driven by the increase in female members, up 170,000 on the year to 3.69 million in 2019. This was the highest number of women who were trade union members since the surveys began in 1995.
Commenting on the news Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary said;
“Coronavirus has highlighted the fundamental value of workers to keep people safe and keep society running. Yet many employers have treated their workforce with little more than contempt. The case of Wetherspoons refusing to furlough their staff until the workers demanded it through their union has stuck in the minds of many.”