Branch Secretary :

We need to make sure that workers don’t pay the price for Covid

"This crisis demands a response and that is what Unite is going to provide"

writes Sharon Graham


My election as General Secretary last month delivered a mandate to return our Union to the workplace – to defend our reps and improve the pay and conditions of our members. We now need to turn these words into action.


Sharon Graham


The real issue that needs resolving in the wake of Covid is how together we can deliver a better deal for Unite members.


Unite cannot sit back whilst politicians play pass the parcel. Using sticking plasters to solve a deep rooted problems. For years, many of our industries have been pushed down – bad working conditions, poor pay and long hours have led to crisis point for many and now we demand change.


In my first week as your General Secretary I declared my intentions by meeting with our Representatives in dispute and by choosing the picket line over a conference hall in Brighton. It is time to do what it says on the trade union tin. Not because politics doesn’t matter but because we have to get our priorities in order.


And now I have written to many of our Reps who face crisis – transport workers facing unrelenting pressure due to labour shortages caused by bad pay and conditions. Why? Because Unite now needs to come together to really develop and resource a concrete, fully funded industrial plan that delivers practical action. Not campaigns that last a few weeks and get forgotten, but plans that understand we need to stay as long as it takes. We need to begin the fight back.


In the weeks and months that follow I will be reaching out to Reps throughout our Sectors as we begin the process of building new Combines as the cornerstone of our industrial programme. This is where we will focus on agreeing concrete action to protect jobs and push up the pay, terms and conditions of Unite members.


Many of you have worked right through the pandemic, whether that be transporting nurses and teachers, delivering goods to critical services, making food for the population, keeping our streets clean or many other critical jobs. Union members have provided a lifeline for our nations. Now we need to make sure that workers don’t pay the price for Covid.


In solidarity,


Sharon Graham, Unite General Secretary


The latest RPI figure shows inflation at 4.8%



Cost of Living - Going Up


The latest RPI figure shows inflation at 4.8%

On 15 September the UK Government’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the latest Retail Price Index (RPI) figure. This provides the RPI rate to 10 August 2021. It shows that prices are up 4.8% from a year ago.


Clothing and footwear are up 9.6%

Women’s clothes have risen 14.5%, while new gear for the kids is 9.4% more expensive than last year. Men’s clothes cost 9.1% more and footwear has also gone up by 5.6%.


Motoring Expenditure is up 10%

The purchase of motor vehicles is up a whopping 11.3% but petrol and oil have gone up by even more over the last twelve months, costing 17.9% more.



Leisure goods are up 5.5%

The cost of toys, photographic and sports goods has increased 5.1% and gardening products cost 8.8% more. Books and newspapers are up 6.3%.


Catering is up 13.4%

Restaurant meals are a humungous 21% more expensive than last year, while the price of canteen meals has gone up by 6.7% over the period.


Fares and other travel costs are up 9%

Other travel costs have increased 12.3% over the last year.


Household goods are up 5.9%

Furniture is 9.5% more costly than a year ago while electrical appliances increased by 8.3%. Furnishings have gone up by 7.2% over the same period.


Read more at Work Voice Pay


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