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The 2019 TUC Summer Patrol for Young Workers

Developing a Norway style summer patrol programme in Yorkshire - Part of the TUC young workers campaign
Report type
Policy proposal
Issue date
Key findings

In July 2018, LO Norge (the Norwegian TUC)  in Møre and Romsdal region invited TUC Yorkshire & the Humber and activists from the GMB and BFAWU unions to observe and participate in their annual summer patrol exercise targeting young workers.

This patrol operated on the basis of a business door-knock, where activists travelled from town to town, visiting businesses unannounced to speak to young workers about their conditions and rights at work.

Four young trade union delegates from Yorkshire took part, and observed an incredibly successful and inspiring project which:

  • Raised the profile of trade unions with young people
  • Acted as a watchdog to scrutinise application of working rights by businesses
  • Gave unions a data collection and press opportunity to draw attention to ZHCs, low pay, safety concerns, insecure work
  • Fostered an important cross-union sense of solidarity and an important socialising opportunity for young trade unionists to build networks, which encouraged a high level of participation

Due to these factors, the patrol experience is a hugely positive first or early encounter with trade unionism both for young workers being interviewed, and for the activists participating in the patrol.

Our proposal is to test pilot this patrol model in Yorkshire, as a trade union best practice for engaging with young workers and encouraging a higher level of trade union activism from existing young trade unionists.

With 2019 voted the Year of Young Workers at the TUC’s 150th Congress in Manchester, next year would be an appropriate opportunity to develop best practices from sister unions, and experiment with this model.

Young trade unionists on patrol in Norway
Young British and Norwegian trade unionists on patrol in Norway
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