It is with great joy that we wish to announce the formation of Unite to Build Our Future, which represents the 100,000 plus hard-working, middle-class, innovative construction workers who have sought peace, order and a more rewarding and sustainable society. This is our organization, Unite to Build Our Future and it represents union members who build the things we all love: our homes, the roads we travel on, and the places we work in.
Our union is open to the men and women of all trades, but we are made up of construction workers who have operated in some of the most challenging, often dangerous jobs in the country. We build, relocate and renovate homes, schools, hospitals, offices, entertainment venues, and significant parts of our countryside – so it is important that when we do this – when we do build things – we are treated fairly.
We union members are happy to build; we have a wealth of ideas and ideas are endless. But as a country, we have to stop building new stadiums and stadiums we cannot afford, let the highways we are building through our highways crumble and crumble, and instead invest in alternative ways to deliver sustainable communities and economic growth. These partnerships between construction workers and community leaders can drive regeneration. For example, the supply chain agreement, a union led initiative, is giving people access to resources they never before had. The agreement will reduce both labour and construction costs by strengthening relationships between local authorities and the construction industry, through further commitment and identification of local jobs. The process of identifying potential skilled labour will also improve training standards and apprenticeships by giving our construction workers access to labour trained and managed by volunteers. This is a model that can be replicated across the country, using the development, technology and the best local knowledge to achieve mutual benefit.
Above all, we want a better future for construction workers. We do not believe that austerity and privatization have been the answer to our problems. We believe that a key driver for re-industrialization is the widespread public anger that has been fostered by austerity, the resulting wage depression, and the automation and outsourcing that are making our economy more inefficient, hurting our public services and causing inequality. In our union we are committed to gaining recognition in business and government. We believe the rights and support that we provide our members to understand what a good future really means, is also highly valued by those employers who have chosen to engage with us.
As the construction industry, much of which is built on public funding, is heavily reliant on government spending, we believe there is a strong case for the construction industry to be granted greater scope for public investment, for new policy frameworks that promote co-operation between the public and private sectors, and support the use of emerging technologies in sectors like construction. We believe that our members, both now and in the future, will be the ones to benefit from these new approaches. It is time that government and business recognised that our members are unrivalled experts in building systems and civilisations – and leave our obsolete post-war structures behind.
By inviting all union members to join us, Unite to Build Our Future is a concrete step towards equality, fairness and self-confidence. This is the first union, however established, whose history is formed entirely by formative innovation, and whose vision is based entirely on the qualities that made Britain great – tenacity, creativity, and imagination. Our partnership with the Building Construction Alliance is building a new form of trade unionism from the ground up.
We know that one of the first acts of a new government will be to scrap the “Traffic Order” bill, which would put us all at risk of excessive and reckless air pollution, demolishing opportunities to collaborate on health and safety with the industry.
It is true that many unions are not acting up to their potential; we certainly are not. We want you to join Unite to Build Our Future because we know that together we can live up to our aspirations for a better future.
Unite to Build Our Future