ELA has increased its membership by 2,000 people since the previous Congress (total figure: 100,925)

Oct 18, 2021
Today, in the presence of a group of journalists from different means of communication, ELA has certified the trade union’s real membership figures, in a unique exercise of transparency in Euskal Herria, as it has put the direct checking of the real membership data at the disposal of the guests, always with the corresponding personal data protection. Accordingly, it has been verified that ELA has 100, 925 members, which means an increase of almost 2,000 contributing members compared to the data collected at the 2017 Congress (at that point there were 98,960 members). This exercise is normally carried out in the weeks running up to the congress, which in this case will take place on the 24th and 25th of November in Bilbao.

There is some other highly significant data regarding what ELA represents, always in relation to the membership: the percentage of women in the trade union as a whole over the past four years has risen from 43% to 46%, and this increase has mainly been recorded in the services sectors (where the percentage of women almost doubles that of men), which are the areas with the greatest job insecurity. This percentage of women members has increased to almost 50% in those under the age of 39 years. This shows that ELA is very present in the work centres where the trade union work is most necessary, wherever the workers are most defenceless. These sectors are mainly the ones that were declared to be essential during the Covid pandemic.

The membership is essential to understand the trade union work and the actual nature of ELA, as it is this militant strength that allows 93% of the trade union’s annual income to come from its own resources. This percentage has been maintained over the last four years. “100,925 workers, through their individual commitments, make one of the largest group projects in this country possible, Mitxel Lakuntza emphasised. ELA’s strength lies in this commitment; the membership gives us an independence that allows us always, in any situation, to give priority to the interests of the working class.”

Accordingly, ELA has also made a summary of its financial situation, where the strength of the strike fund must be emphasised, a tool that pays people on strike a monthly payment of 1,163 euros (in conflicts that are considered ordinary). This explains ELA’s capacity to defend the working conditions, with strikes as the basic element for a collective bargaining chip for confrontations and not just an accompanying element. In this sense, it is worth mentioning that ELA has increased this monthly compensation by 34% over the past four years, an example of its healthy strike fund, which is financed by 25% of the union fees paid by each member. “We know that strikes are not won just by having right on your side, Lakuntza recalled, the capacity to persevere is essential. The fund is the aid, the backing and the encouragement that the rest of the members pass on to the people on strike. It is an unparalleled act of solidarity”.