Unions must go digital to solve problems for young people

Unions should be looking to digital platforms to help tackle the pay gap, according to the TUC.

The umbrella body for trade unions, which celebrates 150 years in 2018, believes they need to move with the times to combat some of the big issues of the day faced by young people.

With young people accepting jobs on zero-hours contracts or agency work that is neither well-paid nor secure, the pay gap between under-30s and over-30s has reached a record high.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady told the BBC Today programme on Monday that more young people joining unions would help to improve working conditions.

"This is about organising online and offline," said O'Grady. "The sense is that of a generation of young people who feel like they've got nothing to lose, but also who understand that the only way that they are going to get fairer pay and safer workplaces is by joining together in a trade union. It's a digital economy and it's about time that trade unionism got digital too."

The general secretary also remarked that due to contemporary working patterns and societal norms, young people were often unable to meet and organise action to achieve better working conditions.

The TUC has embraced digital through its workSMART app, which is designed to promote a dialogue between workers and empower them with tools necessary to organise action.

But digital also means using social media in innovative ways to reach out to younger audiences

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become important organising tools, and video content is key to reaching out to audiences on these platforms.

A tweet containing a video, for example, is six times more likely to be retweeted than a tweet containing an image.

For examples of Senate Media’s work with trade unions visit: http://www.senatemedia.co.uk/campaign-videos

Federica Romaniello
By Federica Romaniello