Trade union membership has always been low among the employees of outsourcing companies. Workers tend to be on short-term contracts and often don't see the point of paying subs out of their meagre wages. So it's interesting to see that the PCS, the Public and Commercial Services union, is actively recruiting among A4e staff - see their website.
Sceptics may say that the union is simply trying to recover the membership numbers which have been steadily eroded by the selling off of public services. But they are clear about the problems in A4e. "We know there are issues in A4e - issues such as long hours, unachievable targets, low pay, and high turnover – but we can only change when we work together." They say, "We are currently talking to A4e senior management at a national level about what PCS can do for staff in A4e, and have asked them for time to speak to staff." Will A4e resist, as they resisted the right of clients to be represented in Edinburgh?