Recruiting and organising under-represented workers

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2014 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
21 February 2014

Conference notes that Water, Environment and Transport is the only UNISON service group where male members outnumber female.

This is despite the predominance of women staff in the administrative and clerical roles, in common with the UK workforce as a whole.

Women in any workforce continue to face discrimination in pay and access to training and development; they are still sidelined into traditional occupations and bear the brunt of caring responsibilities for children and older dependants. This discrimination can be exacerbated where women are Black, disabled or LGBT workers, who face additional hurdles in the workplace.

Whilst legislation exists to protect women from discrimination, all too often the policies and procedures in place do not provide the necessary framework to ensure that these work effectively for women – and all employees.

Conference notes that there are a multitude of reasons why women employees either do not join or do not become active in a trade union, and believes that there is great potential for union growth if branches targeted recruitment and organising activities at women in the WET sector.

Conference therefore calls upon the service group executive to work with the national self organised groups and other relevant UNISON departments to:

i) Develop a recruitment and organising strategy designed to increase membership and participation of all under-represented workers.

ii) Continue to encourage branches to recruit women stewards and monitor how effective these measures are.