What was the best thing about being involved?
It’s a nice way to meet people in your industry and profession, but the principal thing according to me is knowing that if something goes wrong, you are not on your own. It’s like an insurance policy. There is always a person that you can turn to if you ever need information on your rights or advice on how to handle an employment situation to maximise your position. In those moments, you feel the support of the fellow members around you and the union as an entity.
What is the biggest challenge?
Meetings can be stressful. You often talk about problems and what needs improvement in your industry. The atmosphere can be charged. As regards making decisions, sometimes that is done by employing a consultative, democratic process. Other times, though, you have the sense that the real decisions have already been taken outside the meeting. On the one hand, that’s not so good. On the other hand, it can be very good because meetings can become too influenced by emotions and more strategically intelligent decisions can often be made by cool heads.
What is the legacy in your life?
On balance, I prefer to be in the trade union than not. Like in most situations in life, a lot depends on the competence and integrity of the leaders. In my personal situation, I think the overall effect is positive.