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TOPIC: Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join)

Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 22 May 2018 17:14 #7810

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Is anyone aware of this? You don’t need to have a job to join.

www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/communitymembership/

It has a £2.17 a month subscription, and offers among its free services to members a 24-hour free legal helpline. This might be handy now that legal aid is not free.

www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/communitymembership/communitymembershipbenefits/

Here is some general information about it:

"Unite’s mission is to organise people to strive for a society that places equality, dignity and respect above all else.

But our union recognises that we can only achieve this if we bring people together from all walks of life.

Even now in the 21st century, too many people in our country are being pushed to the margins of society. They deserve to be heard; they too deserve the support to organise collectively.

It is with this in mind that Unite has founded its community membership scheme, making us the leading community trade union in the UK and Ireland.

Unite's community membership scheme brings together people from across our society.

Those not in employment are welcomed into the union family, adding another dimension to our strength in thousands of workplaces across the UK and Ireland."
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Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 22 May 2018 17:31 #7811

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"An exhilarating year as a Unite Community activist"

By Bernadette Horton

(Originally published on 22 July 2014)

It’s almost 12 months since I decided to join a trade union. Up until that point people like myself — full-time carers, the disabled, the unemployed and the self-employed — couldn’t join a union as we did not work in the traditional unionised workplaces.

One of the most innovative, bold decisions ever made by a union general secretary was when Len McCluskey decided to open up Unite to the community. Len instinctively knew that people in communities were suffering under the Tory imposed austerity.

He knew that people were fighting to stop community facilities from being closed, the disabled were fighting against Atos fit-to-work tests, carers were struggling on their £61.35 per week and needed a voice to get their reasonable demand for recognition and an increase in the paltry carers allowance, unemployed people were suffering due to job centre sanctions, and many working-class people were losing their homes under the bedroom tax.

So Unite Community was born to join up communities with workplaces and give people in the community a voice, education through training courses and the linguistic tools to fight back against the dark Tory forces seeking to return working-class people to a bygone age.

I grabbed my chance of Unite community membership with both hands, relishing the opportunity to play my part in changing the narrative on austerity, telling people in my community and beyond that we really do not have to take austerity on the chin, and that ordinary people like myself have the power to change this government in 2015.

So what have I learnt? One of the first things I quickly found was that I am never alone. The Unite family are always there to help. I am part of Unite Community in north Wales and my community officer Jo is always there should I have a query or require training.

She has encouraged me to embark on training courses, and to have self-belief that carers like myself have a huge role to play in shaping not only our communities but also the wider national political picture.

From community activism to public speaking courses, Unite tutors have encouraged me all the way. I have used the Unite website as a useful educational resource, and campaigned on various issues both online through social media and also out in the community.

My self-belief that I can play a part in changing things has soared and, even though I have limited mobility, I have recently taken part in campaigning against job centre sanctions on a picket line and represented Unite Wales at the Durham Miners Gala — proudly holding a banner!

Unite Community have supported me to travel to hear inspiring speeches and to learn from the likes of MPs Ian Lavery, Katy Clark and Tom Watson, and many people involved in the campaigns to save our NHS from the TTIP global corporate stitch-up.

Passing on these messages to my local community, getting more people to be involved in local campaigns and speaking out publicly myself is the only real way to tackle the rancid policies this government is foisting on the working class and the most vulnerable.

I know that myself and other proud Unite Community members will be instrumental in the task to get the Labour Party elected in 2015 and the coming months will be tough.

We expect the Tories to do the only campaigning they know best — smear the Labour Party, play on the politics of fear and talk a dirty fight.

But Cameron and his cronies are up against us now — ordinary people who are equipped to not only counteract his Etonian rhetoric, but to have real knowledge and the power to change the narrative that for the past four years has set neighbour against neighbour, poor against working poor, British-born against immigrant.

There is a growing awareness and hatred in the very communities so despised by the Tories that austerity, privatising our NHS, making zero-hours contracts the norm, producing generation rent, and ensuring wages are so low that working families are visiting foodbanks is what the Cabinet millionaires and the bankers want us ordinary people to put up with in life.

Yes, being a community member is as much about politics as it is about trade unionism for the simple reason that if Labour are not elected in 2015 we get five more years of even worse Toryism as Osborne seeks to cut billions more from the likes of us.

I like to tell Labour waverers — don’t think about the leader of the Labour Party, think about the policies he is promising: stopping the bedroom tax, making sure our NHS remains public, part-renationalising our railways, giving our kids a future with technical apprenticeships, giving 25 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds, putting an end to zero-hours contracts and pressing employers to pay the living wage.

Isn’t that preferable to five more years of huge cuts, making zero hours the norm and ensuring even renting is beyond our kids’ dreams? That is Toryism post-2015 — organised spivvery in action.
My first year as a Unite Community member can be summed up as exhilarating, educational, dynamic and — the most wonderful aspect that Tories will shudder at — empowering.

Unite have given me the tools to effect change and enabled me to become a real activist. Isn’t that something you would want too?

This article was originally posted in The Morning Star

Bernadette Horton blogs at mumvausterity.blogspot.co.uk
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Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 22 May 2018 17:50 #7812

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Noticed this from one of the links here:
www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/Universal%20Credit%20Leaflet11-34019.pdf

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Thanks for posting about this osris. If it costs around 50p a week to join for the unemployed, it could be 50p worth spending if it means having a free helpline and access to a unions advice. Also noting on our CV`s that we are `part of the union`! B)
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Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 23 May 2018 10:03 #7835

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Yes Osris, i have also joined some months back now as thought it was a way of obtaining legal advice at a cheap rate :) ;never know when any of us will need that when dealing with the dwp etc.
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Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 23 May 2018 16:32 #7859

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I sent off my application today. At £2.17 a month, what’s to lose?
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Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 23 May 2018 17:02 #7861

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Just had a thought. When you sign on and get a shirty jobsworth, you can smile and say - `Oh by the way, I`m in the same UNION as you! :evil: Let us know how you get on osris. Is the 50p a week for a year subscription or do they ask for a direct debit set up to take payment? Just curious.
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Unite Union's Community Membership (the unemployed can join) 23 May 2018 17:49 #7864

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It’s an ongoing direct debit each month.

I know another jobseeker who’s been on it for years. He says he has never had recourse to us any of its services but it makes him feel better that he can get free legal advice if needed. And that he spends more than the £2.17 a month subscription on fortnightly bus fares to the jobcentre, and so it’s a pittance to pay for the advantages it offers. He says the subscription hasn’t gone up in price since he joined.
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