Trade union

A trade union is an organization formed by workers to protect their rights and interests in the workplace.
Updated: May 31, 2024

3 key takeaways

Copy link to section
  • Trade unions represent workers in negotiations with employers.
  • They aim to secure better wages, working conditions, and benefits.
  • Trade unions can influence labor laws and policies through collective action.

What is a trade union?

Copy link to section

A trade union, also known as a labor union, is an organized group of workers who join together to make decisions about the conditions of their work. Trade unions strive to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to the nation. They negotiate with employers on behalf of union members and advocate for better working conditions, higher wages, and benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and paid leave.

Trade unions also provide a platform for workers to voice their concerns and issues related to their jobs. They work to ensure that workers are treated fairly and that their rights are protected. Unions may represent workers in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and public services.

How trade unions operate

Copy link to section
  • Collective Bargaining: One of the primary functions of a trade union is to engage in collective bargaining with employers. This involves negotiating wages, working hours, benefits, and other employment terms on behalf of the union members.
  • Industrial Action: When negotiations fail, trade unions may organize industrial actions such as strikes, work-to-rule, or picketing to pressurize employers to meet their demands.
  • Legal Representation: Trade unions provide legal assistance to their members in cases of disputes with employers. They may represent workers in tribunals and court cases concerning unfair dismissals, workplace discrimination, and other employment issues.
  • Training and Development: Many trade unions offer training programs and educational courses to help workers enhance their skills and knowledge, making them more competitive in the job market.

Trade unions have been integral in shaping labor laws and policies, contributing to the establishment of minimum wage standards, workplace safety regulations, and other worker protections.

Understanding related topics such as collective bargaining, labor laws, industrial action, workers’ rights, and employment contracts can provide further insight into how trade unions operate and their impact on the labor market. Explore these areas to gain a comprehensive view of the dynamics between workers, employers, and trade unions.

Sources & references
Risk disclaimer
AI Financial Assistant
Arti is a specialized AI Financial Assistant at Invezz, created to support the editorial team. He leverages both AI and the knowledge base, understands over 100,000... read more.