Monday, 16 July 2012

Union exit strategy

I feel as if I have crossed the Rubicon - I have finally cancelled my membership of UNITE (London Graphic branch).  It's no more than an acknowledgement of what I've known for some time - I'm not going to be working in the industry any more and in a few weeks I'll be in the NUT. 

Even so after twenty-five years it does feel like a bit of a milestone and it didn't feel right after so long to just cancel my direct debit as if I was cancelling a gym membership. So I phoned them up to let them know what I was doing and why.

As it turns out cancelling a gym membership is more of an emotional process. They at least ask you why are you cancelling your membership - Are you joining another gym? Were you unhappy with the services they provided ? My union on the other hand couldn't give a toss. In fact they seemed a little put out that I was disturbing them to let them know something they would have found out when my subs just didn't come through next month.

It was much the same when I phoned them back in October to let them know that I had been made redundant. They downgraded my subs to the unemployed rate but there was no concern expressed or follow-up. Nobody even asked if I was satisfied that I'd received my rights and I didn't get a standard hand-out to tell me what these rights were.

I knew that since the heady days of the 1980's most unions  have  became little more than  friendly societies providing discounted car insurance and legal support. But I didn't realise  that  even by the limited criteria of other service providing businesses - their level of 'customer care' is found wanting. In fact it seems that  KwikFit care more about me than the union I've paid my dues to for all my working life. 

At least every time I buy a  new tyre from them I get a text and a phone call asking  how my 'customer experience' was. I know they don't really care but at least they have the decency to pretend.

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