Young And Unionised In The UK? Insights From The Public Sector

TitleYoung And Unionised In The UK? Insights From The Public Sector
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHodder, Andy
JournalEmployee Relations
Pagination314 - 328
Date Published2015///
Keywordsindustrial relations, public sector, trade union membership, trade unionism, union responses, young workers

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between trade unions and young workers in the UK using the Young Members’ Network of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union as a case study. Findings are based on semi-structured interviews with 20 full-time officials and 39 lay officials of all ages, the collection and analysis of primary documents and observations at a range of union meetings. It is argued that PCS has developed a strong network of young activists and is leading the way in terms of engaging with and representing young workers. However, its success in the future may be limited due to changes to the external environment in which the union is trying to organize. The research highlights the role of an under researched area of trade union membership. To provide additional insights, further research is needed into the practice of other unions. This paper provides significant qualitative analysis into this issue which complements the existing quantitative research in this area.