18 September 2014
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Trade Unions

the trade union movement can improve working conditions

In virtually all workplaces in the UK you will find trade union representation which is also known as organised labour. A key aim of trade unions is to organise workers and to represent them to improve their working conditions. Trade unions are in place for most public sector jobs. They negotiate with the company owners on issues like wages, pensions, working conditions, holiday leave and much more. The logic of being in a trade union is that the worker will have more clout when dealing with company management / owners that say if they had to deal with the companies individually, this is known as collective bargaining. On some occasions when negotiations have broken down with say the factory owners the trade union may order its workers to take industrial action, this is also know as strikes.

Trade unions grew from the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century, in what became known as the Trade Union Movement. Many trade unions because of their organisation and their manpower have become involved in politics, a good example of this is the Labour Party in the United Kingdom. In the UK some of the biggest trade unions include UNISON – the public service union, NUPE – the national union of public employees.

Unions are not free to join and there is typically a annual subscription, also known as a membership fee. Typically there are many local branches of national unions, these local branches will have a union representative.

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