• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Trade Unions

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Trade Unions Trade unions are organisations that represent people at work. Their purpose is to protect and improve people's pay and conditions of employment. They also campaign for laws and policies, which will benefit working people. Trade unions exist because an individual worker has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job. By joining together with other workers, there is more chance of having a voice and influence. All sorts of jobs and industries are covered by trade unions. Some unions represent people who do a particular job or work in a specific industry - for example, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), as its name suggests, represents journalists, and the Union for Finance Staff (UNIFI) is made up of people who do different jobs in the financial sector. Other unions include a mixture of people in different jobs and sectors. The biggest unions in Britain are the GMB, UNISON and the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), they represent people working in a range of different occupations and industries in the public and private sectors. ...read more.

Middle

In exchange, members receive the benefits of representation, negotiation, protection and other services from their union. In 2003, union membership in Britain, estimated from the Labour Force Survey, was 7.42 million. The proportion of all employees who were union members was 29.1%. These are the overall figures but union membership varies enormously by industry and by the types of jobs that people do. Trade union membership has declined over the last two decades. In 1979 13.3 million people were members of trade unions and the proportion of employees who were union members stood at 55%. There are several reasons for this fall in membership, including: * A dramatic fall in the number of jobs in manufacturing industries where union membership was traditionally high * Larger numbers of unemployed people * A fall in traditional full time employment and an increase in part time and temporary workers who are less likely to join unions * An increase in the proportion of the workforce employed by small companies where it is often difficult for unions to organise * Hostile legislation - the previous Conservative government introduced laws, which make it more difficult for unions to operate and keep their members. ...read more.

Conclusion

Information and advice Unions have a wealth of information, which is useful to people at work. They can advise on a range of issues like how much holiday you are entitled to each year, how much pay you will get if you go on maternity leave, and how you can obtain training at work. Member services During the last ten years, trade unions have increased the range of services they offer their members. These include: * Education and training - Most unions run training courses for their members on employment rights, health and safety and other issues. Some unions also help members who have left school with little education by offering courses on basic skills and courses leading to professional qualifications. * Legal assistance - As well as offering legal advice on employment issues, some unions give help with personal matters, like housing, wills and debt. * Financial discounts - People can get discounts on mortgages, insurance and loans from unions. * Welfare benefits - One of the earliest functions of trade unions was to look after members who hit hard times. Some of the older unions offer financial help to their members when they are sick or unemployed. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Trade Unions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Trade Unions essays

  1. Explain fully and clearly the importance of negotiation within industrial relations to resolve disputes

    The trade union accepted this offer on the condition that the government increases the London and other allowances inline with the metropolitan police in two years time. The government accepted this without actually doing so. They asked the trade union to call off possible ballots of industrial strike.

  2. Employee Relations and Trade Union Recognition Within The Catering Sector.

    These would include annual pay rises, financial problems and major disciplinary problems. If employees still have concerns about approaching the committee or management a drop in box could be introduced. This way any employee who would like to keep anonymity whilst still raising an issue can use the drop in box.

  1. Trade Union

    pay or for working conditions), then there are a number of different methods of industrial action which the trade union can propose to its members that they use in order to achieve their demands : 1. Non co-operation. Refusing to attend meetings and use new machinery or processes.

  2. 'The impact of legislation introduced between 1980 and 1993 is the principal reason for ...

    'In other cases, union representatives called off strike action after employers threatened to use the law, and union members have, in some cases, been unwilling to strike through fear of entanglement with the law' (Blyton and Turnbull YEAR Pg338). The strike threat, a fundamental source of union power, was therefore

  1. Employee Organisations & Unions

    Shop workers' union Usdaw said it was monitoring the scheme and was working closely with the company. Free Choice Usdaw spokesman Kevin Hegarty said that the union had no objection to the pilot scheme, but added that this "was not the same as fully supporting it".

  2. There are two broad opposing frames of reference on the role of trade unions:

    They were support bodies for widowers, orphans and those who had fallen upon hard times. > Strikes for increase wages or decrease hours pressured employers and lead to a ban of what was known as 'combinations.' There were 30 pieces of legislation between 1720 to 1800, culminating into two General Combinations Act, outlawing strikes in England and Wales.

  1. Trade Unions

    will the pay rise be a 'blanket' coverage giving every employee a fixed percentage rise, or will different groups of workers receive different percentage pay rises?). Further to this point, will the pay rise be awarded in a lump sum per employee, or will it be staggered over time?

  2. Trade Unions

    Negotiation, therefore, is about finding a solution to these differences. This process is also known as collective bargaining. "In many workplaces there is a formal agreement between the union and the company, which states that the union has the right to negotiate with the employer.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work