HeartUnions week: Mick Lynch perfectly sums up the power of a union

"If you sing on your own, you’re one voice, if you sing in a choir, it’s a powerful voice.”

Every year, a week is dedicated to sharing stories about the work of unions and celebrating the trade union movement. As it’s Valentine’s Day it seems even more fitting to share an ode to trade unions given by the prominent trade unionist Mick Lynch. 

In a video posted by the RMT union, its General Secretary Mick Lynch shared an inspiring message to perfectly sum up the power of joining a union. 

“People need to join a union because it’s your hope and it’s your strength,” said Lynch. 

“If you’re in a union you’re not isolated. If you’re on your own, they pick you off. 

“Like the idea that if you sing on your own your one voice, if you sing in a choir, it’s a powerful voice.”

MPs have also come out in support of unions and backed the campaign week by encouraging people to join a union. Angela Rayner posted a video in which she said it was a time to celebrate the “vital work they do in the service of working people.” 

In the video shared online, Rayner highlighted Labour’s New Deal for Working People which would work together with trade unions to “make work pay”, as she shared the message to join a union. 

Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy also highlighted the ways in which the union movement can support workers. 

Ribeiro-Addy wrote on X: “Every week, trade unionists are showing us the best way to fight back against the cost of living scandal: getting together, getting organised, and refusing to let employers make them poorer. If your pay isn’t keeping up with inflation, join a union and do the same.”

She highlighted the everyday benefits that we may take for granted hard-won by union action, including weekend and holiday pay along with health and safety laws. 

Other areas where unions can help members is in providing legal support and advice, fighting for better parental and maternity leave, equal opportunities and against discrimination and higher wages.

TUC leader Paul Nowak has written about the different ways trade unions are winning for working people and why their work is all the more vitally important right now.

MP Ian Lavery drew attention to the struggle of Amazon workers in their ongoing strike action for £15 an hour and union recognition. 

He wrote: “This HeartUnions week we should all take time to realise some of the horrendous working conditions so many people find themselves in and how unions have organised to improve workplaces. 

“Join a union to protect yourself, protect your colleagues and build a better world.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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