RMT union demonstrations.

Could unions help protect young people’s pay?

A new report says the 'earnings gap' between young and old is growing

Not that we needed a report to confirm it for us, but turns out young people are kinda getting the short end of the stick on the job market in the UK.

What it means: Obviously older people earn more than young people – but the gap between the two groups' earnings is growing, from 14.5 per cent in 1998 to 21.9 per cent today.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) thinks joining a union would help, and has launched a new app called 'WorkSmart' in an attempt to get young people informed about their rights and wages – and ultimately, convince them to join a union.

The principle behind it is what's called 'collective bargaining': one worker in a union with thousands of others can more powerfully demand a change in their conditions than a single worker. Membership peaked in the 1970s in the UK, with 13 million people being part of a union.

Union membership has fallen in the past few years – it's now at 15.7 per cent of the workforce, with young people seriously underrepresented despite being the group most likely to be in a precarious job.

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?