We are Unite. We publish.


Today marks the start of BookMachine’s partnership with Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union. To launch this initiative, Gareth Lowe, Chair of Unite’s National Publishing and Media Branch, gives a brief introduction to trade unionism, focusing particularly on its relevance to our sector.

It’s been a long road to get to this point. It was suggested to us some time ago that we should consider partnering with BookMachine. After extensive research and a host of meetings with co-founder Laura Summers, we’re delighted to go live with that partnership. So, who are we and what do we offer BookMachine members?

Firstly, let’s talk a little about Unite The Union. Our vision is for a fair and rewarding society in which employers and employees work together. We’re a members’ union, fully accountable to those we represent. The organisation has a democratic structure and is primarily concerned with standing up for employees in the workplace.

UNITE_BM_animation_shortAs Britain’s biggest trade union, our industrial clout is renowned. Unite represents workers from every walk of life and has 1.42 million members: this size means alongside our “core” services, we’re able to offer some great affiliate service schemes to save members money in their day-to-day lives. Crucially, we offer our members support with issues at work: once you join Unite, you are never truly alone in the workplace. We believe in collectivism and seek to improve and protect terms and conditions though campaigning. We are actively involved in promoting equality in the workplace and passionately believe in the value of education.

So, what about publishing? The union is organised by industrial sector. Publishing falls under the Graphical, Paper, Media & Information Technology, an area with a rich history of trade unionism. Within this sector is the National Publishing and Media Branch, the home of publishing members across the country. Book publishing is a cornerstone of this, and along with newspaper publishing constitutes the biggest part of the Branch membership.

We know that BookMachine members want to get ahead in their publishing careers. We see its membership as dynamic and well versed with new technology. Whether in larger, organised workplaces or jobbing as a freelancer, everyone in our industry needs someone on their side. BookMachine provides a social network with events, blogs and more to involve its readers in publishing. Unite aims to provide a similar industrial service. Members of both are ideally placed to immerse themselves in the world of books.

What are we looking for from this partnership is increased visibility – BookMachine’s reach is somewhat different to our own. Look out for our blog content, which we hope will offer a different perspective on publishing issues, and of course if you don’t know about our event yet, then head straight here. Of course, we’re hoping many of you will sign up to join us and make our strength in unity greater still.

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