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Welcome to the Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of uniteWORKS.

In this edition we investigate the state of working in 2017. Just when did it become acceptable for workers to need two jobs and work all hours because wages are so low? Or to treat staff like slaves because they are apparently ‘self-employed’ or belong to an agency and so are not the employer’s responsibility? Or for the government’s job centres to insist on placing disabled jobseekers into work they cannot possibly do?

We discuss all of this and more. But what is abundantly clear is that where a workplace has a strong trade union, workers have agreed terms and conditions, health and safety protection, pay and greater security. We meet workers at Rolls-Royce Derby who tell us how strong unions can really make a massive and positive difference to everyone.

We also hear about the support Unite Community is giving to workers – to those who find themselves in appalling work situations with help and advice and also in their tireless campaign work with employers like Sports Direct.

Unite’s hotels co-ordinator Charlotte Bence says there is no such thing as a bad job – just bad pay, terms and conditions. She believes all workers have a right to expect better. Workers deserve respect, a wage they can live on, and a voice in the workplace. And that’s exactly what Unite is fighting for.

Best wishes

Amanda Campbell

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