A trade union is an organized association of workers in an industry, industry group, or profession whose primary purpose is to protect and promote the rights and interests of workers. This can be done, for example, through collective bargaining on terms and conditions of employment. Trade union and its purpose includes entering into collective agreements with employers, providing advice and support to union members on disciplinary matters, etcetera. Unions work to create a better world of work for their members through negotiations with employers and political campaigns. Where unions are recognized, they can represent workers and negotiate terms such as better wages, vacations, and other workplace policies.
Trade union and its purpose
Because unions have the collective power of large membership organizations, they have a powerful voice in the workplace, community and beyond to champion causes that matter to their members. On an individual level, unions can assist members who are facing difficulties in the workplace such as bullying, termination of employment, redundancy, and ill-treatment.
What is the main purpose of a trade union?
A trade union is an organization made up of members, and whose membership is made up mainly of workers. The main purpose of a trade union is to protect and advance the interests of its members in the workplace. Advantages of trade unions to employers are many this is why most trade unions are independent of any employer and encouraged to always support the interest of employees and ensuring mutual relationships with the employers.
How a trade union works
The union has a democratic structure and holds elections to elect officers charged with making decisions that benefit its members.
Workers pay membership dues to the union, and in return, the union acts as an advocate for the workers. Trade unions are often industry-specific and are most commonly found today among employees of the public sector (government) and transportation and utility companies.
Purposes of trade unions
- Improving the economic status of workers by securing better wages. This is done through negotiations with employers once in a while after the employee has worked for some time and/or when the economy of the country is failing, prices have gone up and there is a need for salary to match the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.
- Improving working conditions for workers. Issues such as leave days, maternity leave, and weekends off are discussed with employers so that workers have ample time to rest and replenish.
- Provide bonuses to employees out of company/organization profits.
- Oppose management plans that make aim at unstable employment of workers and limit employment opportunities.
- Legal assistance to workers in labor and wage disputes. When an employee is involved in a dispute with his or her employer, trade unions provide all the necessary legal assistance to that employee, from lawyers to the way to being with them in the courts of law if the matter goes there.
- To protect workers from employment cuts, layoffs, etcetera. Trade unions ensure that workers have running contracts with employers and that they are exempted from unfair dismissals and employment cuts.
- To ensure that workers receive subsidies, pensions, and other benefits in accordance with regulations.
- Provide workers with better safety and health care systems;
- Ensure employee participation in corporate governance. Unions give a voice to their members to have a say in what goes on in the organization
- To instill discipline, self-respect, and dignity in workers. Workers are encouraged to be disciplined in the workplace so as not to bring the union’s name and theirs into disrepute.
- To secure promotion and training opportunities. Unions aid employees to get promotions after working for a long time and have all the necessary documents for them to get a promotion.
- Ensure organizational efficiency and high productivity. Trade unions do not only work for the benefit of the employee only, but they are also beneficial to the employer by way of encouraging employees to give their all to ensure that there is high productivity in the company
- Ensuring stable employment of workers and resisting employers’ incentives to replace them with automated machines.
- To give employees the opportunity to participate in the management of the company and to oppose decisions that adversely affect them.
Benefits of trade unions
- Workers feel very weak when alone. Union offers him the opportunity to achieve his goals with the support of his colleagues.
- Unions protect the economic interests of workers and ensure reasonable wage rates and wage plans.
- Trade unions help workers to obtain higher wages as well as certain comforts.
- Unions also provide cash benefits for sickness and other emergencies in some cases.
- Trade unions are tools for organizing negotiations and resolving disputes between workers and management.
- Unions are also beneficial to employers as they organize workers under one banner and encourage workers to follow peaceful means of enforcing their demands.
- Unions give workers confidence and make them feel that they are an important part of the organization.
- Provide promotion and training to help workers reach higher positions.
- Importance of trade unions to workers
- Advantages of trade unions to employers
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