BY Andrew Brady
Union Solidarity International (USi) is only a couple of months old and we have been trying through social media to inform, educate & campaign with trade union members in the UK and Ireland on the issues facing our Movement across the World. It’s a high ambition but we know people like you share it!
We have been joined in this conversation by thousands of people from across the world visiting our website, Facebook and twitter pages. We have had over 20,000 hits on our site since its launch on May Day and now thousands of people across our streams are joining the USi conversation. What has also been pleasing is that we are using newer media streams like snip.it and pinterest which has been generating significant interest and engagement.
These statistics clearly demonstrate that social media gives us an opportunity to speak directly with people with an interest in our point of view by harnessing all the available streams. As trade unionists and progressives we know that our struggles and campaigns for economic, political and social justice chime with the masses; and now social media is giving us an opportunity to outflank those on the right of the political spectrum to ensure that our stories get out there untouched by the biased sections of the media controlled by wealthy individuals and corporations like Rupert Murdoch.
The other major advantage in continuing is that young people in particular are engaged with social media streams often on an hourly basis never mind daily. According to the Office of National Statistics in the UK over ninety per cent of those under the age of 24 are on a social networking site while those between the ages of 55-54 it is around thirty per cent. One in two people access the internet and all their social networking sites via their mobile handsets.
In the UK over 6 million people access the internet on their phones on a regular basis and more than seventy-seven per cent of all households now have internet access. This is at a time when the people under the age of 24 have union density figures of around twelve per cent and we have soaring youth unemployment across Europe.
USi has an opportunity to be a social media layer connecting trade unionists with those who are young and perhaps not even in work because of the dire economic situation. We must endeavor to get our Movement’s stories out there in the social media bubble to help make us relevant, appealing and on the level.
For these reasons we are being supported by trade unions in the UK and Ireland to create dynamic campaigns and to help unite resistance to the austerity that is sweeping Europe and much of the world. We are also delighted to have received the support of a number of trade unions in Greece who are at the centre of the neo-liberal storm and we continue to build links with trade unions in North and South America as well as across Europe and Africa because people recognise the importance of connecting across borders to build solidarity – and we need more of it.
What can you do to help?
We need people to continue raising awareness of http://usilive.org and get people to become involved.
Help us want build our contacts so please encourage to subscribe to our round-ups and regular bulletins here: http://bit.ly/MHo2co
Give us your views on the site, how to improve it and your ideas about how you can help us source content and campaigns.
Once again, thanks for your support and let’s together build union solidarity!
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