“We are stronger together”
Firstly, I wish to thank all of the members who contacted the office in the last few weeks welcoming me to my new role as the General Secretary of the Guinness Staff Union (GSU).
Many of you may already know me through my previous work representing SIPTU members employed in the brewery. I have many years’ experience representing Guinness and Diageo workers as an organiser with SIPTU. In recent years, I had responsibility for all SIPTU members in the food and drink sector throughout in Ireland. I also represented food and drink workers at European Level as an Executive member of the European Food Drink and Tourism Trade Union Federation (EFFAT). I am very proud of my new role as your General Secretary and can assure you that I will bring all of experience as a workers’ representative to the position.
The GSU has a proud record over many years. The Union has built up an excellent reputation among and a certain respect from the company. The role of the GSU is to ensure that all members are well represented. The most effective way for us to achieve this is by maintaining our solidarity and strength through a strong membership. That is why I am asking all members to approach staff working in your work area to ask them to consider joining the GSU
Some staff may say, “sure why join a union, I get what you get anyway” or “if the GSU wins a pay increase even though I am not a member but I will get it” – I have heard similar statements throughout my 30 years as an active trade unionist. However, I can point to other companies where, when union membership was not maintained, management simply refused to negotiate with the union and as a result many hard won agreements protecting workers’ terms and conditions were lost. This resulted in all members of staff in those companies losing out, those in the union and staff who never joined.
These situations have taught me one simple lesson – “we are stronger together”.