UNISON is the largest British and European trade union which deals with public sector. It has more than 1.3 million members across Europe covering most of the industries like health, education, local government, police, private contractors providing public services, gas, electricity, gas, water, transport and voluntary sector etc.
In order to develop a business strategy, companies first start scanning internal and external factors to understand the business, its market position and market itself. Internal factors can be controlled by the companies itself but external factors are out of their control. So the companies have to formulate their business strategies according to the external factors.
PEST analysis is an important business tool which is used as a first step towards strategy formulation. It covers political, economical, social and technical factors. Some authors do add environmental and legal factors also making it PESTEL analysis.
It is evident that UNISON has taken utmost care in understanding its member’s needs and requirements as well as market conditions. That is why they have devised several strategies and tactics which are very helpful in achieving their aims and objectives. Let us discuss how UNISON has taken care of the PEST factors in establishing successful strategies:
Being in Europe UNISON has considered the UK as well as European policies, rules and regulations. UNISON is in a strong favour of migrants to the UK and openly supports the UK Labour Party. Workers from EU countries move to the UK for a better wage rate, flexible rules, excellent working conditions and better life style. According to the government figures, after the EU expansion in 2004, more than seven hundred thousand Polish workers moved to the UK as registered workforce to strengthen the UK workforce and national economy.
” Migrants make a net contribution to the exchequer when tax receipts are compared with expenditure. This net contribution is higher for migrants than for other groups. The gap between the net contribution of migrants and that of the wider population has in fact grown over recent years”.
Migrants are not provided with the proper health services and housing. London and South East of England are the most populated areas of migrants, where facilities are not up to the British standards. Because of the short term movement of migrants most of the national and local bodies are unable to keep a track of these migrants’ movements.
One of the most important areas for UNISON is to make sure that government policies meet the basic needs of the workers and best suit them in their working environment. In order to create a favourable environment for workers in the UK, UNISON lobby in the government to get the best working rules and regulations for the British workers.
Trade Union Directive (TUC) found that many employers are not following the minimum wage rule and working time directive. That means some workers were forced to work under minimum wage and some were forced to work extra hours without pay. Generally this was happening due to the ignorance of migrant workers from rules and regulations and overall fear to lose the job. Another hindrance was the language, since most of them are unable to speak English fluently.
British government helps the workers to understand their legal employment rights in the country and also provide them legal aid in case of conflicts at employment. But due to the government’s cut in funding this service has affected a lot. UNISON has come forward to resolve this issue by offering free advice centres and legal advice to all their members. This legal advice and information services are helping the migrant workers to understand their responsibilities and legal employment rights in the country.
UNISON recognises the importance of migrant workers in both public and private sectors of the economy. UNISON’s main focus is make sure that migrant workers get the fair employment terms and conditions and suitable career development opportunities to keep UK as an attractive place for migrants.
Government figures of the year 2006 show the clear and concise picture of migrant’s role in the UK economy. Total 400 thousand people left the UK for economic benefits to other countries of the world and UK received a total of 590 thousand people as migrant workers. The net result of this migration was a positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.5% growth in the UK economy. This GDP growth of 0.5% is equivalent to £6 billions to the UK economy.
People migrate from one country to another in search of better jobs, better lifestyle and also safe and secure environment. Fortunately the UK provides all these attractions to the people in the outside world. An average salary in 2007 was £2500 in the UK as compared to the £500 in Poland. So a wave of Polish migrants came to the UK in search of good economic conditions not only for themselves but also for relatives back home.
Migrant’s top priority is always to get any kind of employment. That is why they take any employment rather than area of their expertise. So most of them end up with industries like agriculture, service industry or blue collar jobs like cleaning and packing. Most of the time they take the jobs which are not liked by domestic labour due to the working conditions (like outdoor jobs) or low paid wages. In this way they do the unwanted jobs by the domestic labours and fill up the local labour market gaps giving more choices to the employers.
Most of the employers found migrant workers as self motivated and hard working employees. They also mention that migrant workers show more keenness and positive work ethics as compare to some of the domestic workers. Through this businesses achieve an important target of competitive edge over their competitors. Migrants are playing very important roles in both public and private sectors of the UK economy.
While analysing the social factors, UNISON has given utmost attention to the migrant worker’s social integrity to the local society and a smooth transition from one culture to another. Social factors contribute very positively to attract the migrant workers to the UK. Standard of living is the biggest attraction for the people in Asia and around the Europe as well.
The UK has an ageing population with higher percentage of retired people. That simply means the local labour market will shrink without migrant workers. The government forecast is that the issue will become a serious concern in 20 years time. Our care worker industry comprise of 16% migrant workers. Without these migrants, first of all we are unable to manage the existing care services and secondly it is a skilled shortage area within UK and most areas of the world. These migrant workers get trained in their home countries and then migrate to the UK to fill the skill shortage void.
UNISON has researched that most of the migrant workers have very strong language barriers, which makes communication very difficult. This makes them socially inactive with their English speaking co workers. Since they can’t read very important documents like company employment rules, contract of employment etc., therefore, they remain unaware of their legal employment rights. Even at shops, accessing government departments and understanding the welfare system becomes next to impossible for them to understand.
In order to resolve the above mentioned issues UNISON has taken firm steps in two directions. They have negotiated with the employers that:
Employers will produce welcome packs in different languages for migrants
Employers will print health and safety information in different languages
Employers will give paid time off to migrant workers
Employers will pay the course cost to learn English
Also the UNISON took positive steps to ensure the social integration of migrant workers and their families in the British society.
Special section for migrant workers on UNISON website providing information on social issues in different languages
Produces migration information leaflets in 11 different languages
Provide information on welfare and taxation
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course for migrants
UNISON’s own website is a clear example of technological revolution in the world. The members in the whole European area can find out information about employment, rules and regulations, social life, health and safety, right at work, and benefit system, with the luxury of getting information in their local language.
A United Nation’s recent survey shows that migrant workers send home twice the amount of dollars given in international aid to developing countries. So migration is suitable for both home and destination country. Migrants fill the labour gap and expand the labour market of the host country while developing the economy of the home country by sending extra income to their loved ones.
Development in automation and internet has changes the facet of the business world. Due to automation and computer, less skilled workers are required in factories and less office workers are required to handle data physically. In shopping malls accurate data of goods in and out is maintained by computers, security is taken care by CCTV and scanners to catch the thieves.
Moreover online shopping has encouraged many migrant graduates to come and play their role. This area of skilled shortage is well covered by migrant workers. Internet has increased the availability of products, buyers and suppliers with no extra cost of transportation for all business players. Telecommunication has helped both employee and employer to access global labour markets.
Budget airlines have made the air travel very easy and cheap. That is why 75% of migrant workers use budget airlines to travel. Safe, secure and quick money transfer is another attracting factor for migrant workers.
UNISON is a well represented company of millions of workers across Europe and takes care of most of the basic issues of domestic and migrant workers. They support migration in a very logical way and work for the betterment of both home and host populations and economies. UNISON has take in depth account of all external (PEST) factors.
UNISON understands the political issue of workers and trying to resolve them in number of ways at national and international levels. They are actively trying to win the best policies for workers across Europe.
Economic viability of migrant workers is quite clear from United Nation and governmental reports. Also figures from 2006 and 2007 support the strong view of UNISON of favouring migration for the UK economy.
On social grounds they have taken number of steps to help the migrants and made points towards the importance of migration. They have taken very positive steps towards social life of the workers and pushed successfully their bargain agenda to convince employers to give them a hand in resolving issues.
We are living in the age of technology, so everyday technological changes are changing our lives at greater pace than our expectations. UNISON has taken good account of the technological factors and has taken fruitful steps by equipping their website with loads of key information in different languages.
UNISON has a continuing role in asking government to implement favourable employment policies for migrants and assurance from employers to play their positive role for the benefit of migrant workers.