Pictured above: ISSU members and volunteers supporting the Respect at Work campaign, at centre ISSU President, Shari Irfan, and Honorary ISSU President, Caitlin Faye Maniti, on Custom House Quay in Dublin.

For years, the same tale has been told about trade unions. Unions are irrelevant to modern working life, there is no place for them in a dynamic economy. However, in Ireland and elsewhere, a new trend is emerging.

As recent UCD research has revealed there has been a significant shift in attitudes towards trade unions. Among young Irish workers over two-thirds of 18-24 year olds currently in non-unionised workplaces would vote to organise a trade union in their job.

The survey also highlighted a growing desire for stronger worker protections, fairer wages and improved conditions. It would seem that young workers are beginning to see trade unions as essential for navigating tricky workplace issues, guaranteeing fair treatment and most of all real respect at work.

This sentiment reflects the changing world of work, where bad jobs, poverty wages coupled with a housing and renting crisis are pushing young people towards taking firm action to restore the balance of power in their workplaces.

Many young workers feel not only insecure but undervalued. Unions, including ours, must change to become the vehicles for change that this new generation demands.

To this end, SIPTU has joined with the Financial Services Union (FSU), the Communication Workers Union (CWU), and Mandate Trade Union to launch the Respect at Work campaign. Our union will show it is willing to meet young workers where they are at and we will rejuvenate the world of work together.