Humber hubs workshop
Unite’s Charlotte Upton talking to hub activists

First hub office opens in Humber to build union organising

Activists trained by the ITF and its affiliate Unite the Union have succeeded in setting up a hub office within Immingham Port – one of four major ports on the UK’s Humber river, Europe’s eighth largest port complex – to organise and forge alliances across job sectors.

The office at the Seamen’s Mission was opened on 10 June and is being promoted to all workplaces in the Humber hub area. It will be staffed by activists, the ITF team and Unite officials and used for a range of activities, including union learning, campaigning, and offering advice and services. It will also be a drop-in centre for Unite members and other workers interested in joining the union.

In early June, the ITF and Unite trained 40 activists from the hub to work at the office, in addition to the 35 already trained.

Unite tutor Becky Evans said: “This is about working across sectors, getting people to talk to each other and increasing industrial strength…the leverage of a network in the supply chain increases power for all our members.

“Hub projects can be transposed onto anything. For instance, a hospital and its surrounding health services, along with security, catering and cleaning and the local community. That can be considered a hub.”

Paula Hamilton, ITF industrial hubs programme leader, commented that Unite members at Immingham were setting a global trend and bolstering the potential of effective international solidarity.

The initiative is part of a major international ITF and IndustriALL union supply chain programme launched in Hull, UK in November 2014 to strengthen union power and collective bargaining across the oil and gas, steel, renewable energy, transport, chemicals, automotive and dock work industries. It aims to ensure that workers and communities benefit from the growing economic opportunities in the Humber area.

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