MICK Lynch’s primetime crusades against the Tory Government and the right-wing media have sparked a flurry of interest in how to join a trade union.
The RMT boss is currently at war with Network Rail, leading one of the largest strikes in recent memory which is thought to be behind a huge spike in Google searches for instructions on joining a union, according to new analysis.
The number of searches for the phrase “join union” exploded by 184% as of Wednesday, the highest level in over a year.
Rail workers walked out on Tuesday in the first day of the strike, which saw RMT chief Lynch take to the airwaves to make the case for the workers, who are fighting for an inflation-busting pay rise.
Research by recruitment experts Workello reveals that searches for “join a union” were almost triple the average volume in the past week – while searches for “how to strike” are up 135%.
The findings suggest Lynch’s successful media campaign, as well as large levels of public sympathy for striking railway workers could be fuelling public interest in trade unions.
A spokesperson said: “This week the British public have been faced with trains up and down the country coming to a standstill as a result of these strikes by RMT, leading to difficulties getting to work, attending events and appointments.
“However, the strikes have also encouraged a surge of online interest in joining a trade union, indicating the massive impact that strikers are having across the country.
“With more strikes across other sectors rumoured to take place in the future, it will be interesting to see whether these searches continue to rise, especially if strikers achieve their desired outcome.”
The UK Government fears that strikes by lawyers, nurses and teachers are all on the cards over the summer as the rate of inflation threatens to hit double digits.
Trade union membership grew during the 1970s – a period of widespread strikes – but slipped into terminal decline after the 1980s after Margaret Thatcher’s victories against workers in her quest to fundamentally reshape Britain.
But recent statistics suggest membership is on the rise again, with an uptick in those joining a trade union after 2012.