Disclaimer: This post is all about trade unions, not student unions you guild lovers!
TUs have been pretty much screwed over the last 30 years. In 1979 their numbers were at a peak of 13.5 million. Remember this is during the winter of discontent so lots of union activity. They now have about 7 million. So a small proportion of workers. Unions, to survive, have been forced to merge. We have had the first ‘super-union’ in Unite come into existence.
Ok so the purpose of this is a simple discussion for unionists and non-unionists alike. There are two options for Unions to survive;
1) Become more conciliatory and offer a much better individualised service for members in focussing their efforts on one-to-one negotiations on a case by case procedure.
2) Become more overt and aggressive in highlighting the growing gap in power between employers and employees. Organise more active participation and start posing a real threat to employers in the hope they start acting on concerns on a large scale.