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TUC Summer Patrol 2023 - Our Experience on patrol in Norway

Published date
On Monday (24 July) the TUC Yorkshire & the Humber and TUC Wales will launch its Summer Patrol project 2023.

Ahead of next week we're sharing the experiences and stories of young UK trade unionists that had the opportunity to go to Norway earlier this year to be a part of the LO-Norway Summer Patrol, and why they’re keen to replicate the project here in the UK.

What is the Summer Patrol? 

The Summer Patrol is a LO-Norway (Norway’s TUC) project where for over forty-years young trade unionists patrol the country entering businesses unannounced to speak with workers about their pay, terms and conditions and encourage them to join a union. In 2019, the TUC Yorkshire & Humber ran its first Summer Patrol and since then we have continued to build on that foundation. 

Trade Union young workers – Our Experience on patrol in Norway 

Nathanial Pearce (Unite)

Q: What was your impression of the LO Summer Patrol? Do you think the Patrol idea is worth replicating in the UK?
A: I believe the patrol is very effective within Norway due to the political influence the LO has and therefore due to this it allows access industries that in the UK we are struggling to comminute with. I do believe that is worth replicating in the UK because even if we only get to speak to a few people, we can make a positive impact on their working lives and hopefully improve their knowledge of a trade union as well as their rights as a young worker in industries which exploit them.

Lindsay Feltham (Unite)

Q: What was your impression of the LO Summer Patrol? Do you think the Patrol idea is worth replicating in the UK?
A: I thought that taking part in the Norway Summer patrol was eye opening to see how working terms & conditions can be improved when there is a higher Union membership density within the working population. It was interesting to gain an understanding of how different the working laws and terms & conditions in the UK are to those in Norway, and again how they can be improved when the overall opinion and approach to Trade Unions is more positive and supportive (both from the government and society).  I think that it is worth replicating within the UK to try to change the narrative on Trade Unions and to ensure that young workers know their rights.

Jon Elson (Unite)

Q: What was one of your memorable experiences on the patrol?
A: One of my memorable experiences during the patrol was speaking with a young woman in a petrol station. Having done a few interviews previously in the day and finding very little in the way of breaches, it was shocking to hear that there is still work to be done to tackle bad employers. The engagement from the workers as we discussed what was wrong and how they could fix it was truly inspiring. There were no questions like “can I really do this”, it was simply “right this is what I have to do” and I “will do it and the union will be with me when I do.” Incredibly inspiring experience.  

TUC Summer Patrol 2023 

This year we're running a four-day intensive programme in Leeds, York and Cardiff (24 July – 27 July) to reach out to non-union workers, practice organising, and support unions to unionise new workplaces. 

We'll take young trade unionists' step-by-step through the organising conversations process and support them to develop their skills as an organiser as they reach out to non-unionised workers. 

This programme is open to any young trade unionist with an interest in developing their organising skills. 

If you want to know more about previous UK Patrols click the links to find our more: 

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