Trade union of the future: how to reckon diversifying membership and develop as a lobbying organisation?
Target programme is a tool with which the Union Congress decides upon the direction of the union for the next four years. Image: Gettyimages
The series ’Trade union of the future’ deals with questions related to the future of the service sector and PAM in particular. The questions are suggested to serve as a basis for PAM’s upcoming target programme. The last part of the series discusses ways to strengthen the sense of community and to develop the organisation.
Diversification of work means not only transformation of professions but also differentiation of the quality of employment relationships and even endeavours to replace employment relationships with other structures. Increasing immigration and growing urbanisation have far-reaching impacts on workers, working communities, trade unions’ membership and the services the members need as well as prerequisites of the unions’ lobbying work and activities on the workplace level.
The future union members may include employees, self-employed, freelancers, platform workers or unemployed who have accumulated their skills and knowledge in Finland or abroad. They live in diverse areas in Finland so the respective labour market situations may be very different from one another, too.
To ensure that the union services cover the needs of the diversifying membership, they have to be defined and redefined together with the entire community. The services have to be comprehensive, to make an impact and offer an outstanding service experience.
In PAM sectors, the membership rate of immigrants is at a fairly good level, although considerably lower than that of the population in general. The immigrants’ membership rate must be improved by, for example, early contacting and diverse means of interaction. Local activities have to be developed to be easily approachable and something that offers tangible added value to immigrants.
In addition to its members, PAM entails branches, shop stewards, different decision-making bodies and employees, and the changes and reform needs apply differently to them. For example, the network of shop stewards should be expanded, the activities of local branches should be renewed to correspond the changing working life, and the union decision-making should better reflect the change in surrounding society.
In order to provide excellent services and efficient lobbying to the diversifying membership, PAM has to invest in continuous development and well-being of its personnel. By developing its management, the union can improve its decision-making which ensures better working conditions to the union staff and more efficient lobbying in favour of its members.
Source: Discussion paper on PAM’s upcoming target programme 1/2019.
What do you think?
Active members, comprehensive shop steward networks, well-working local branches, attractive member services and efficient negotiating and lobbying work ensure that the union can protect the interests of its members and develop its working conditions. How could we increase union membership rate and members’ commitment to PAM?
Join us in discussing the future of the union! The discussion paper on PAM’s upcoming target programme will be debated in the candidate nomination meetings of the branches between 17 January and 19 February 2019.
The discussion paper is the first draft of the target programme, and you can have your say too. Check the events calendar of your branch and participate in its candidate nomination meeting. Your views, experiences and ideas are important to us!
PAM’s future target programme will be adopted in next summer’s Union Congress on 4–6 June 2019.