Trade unions are a form of representation of the people at work. Their very

basic purpose is to protect and improve people's pay and conditions of

employment. They campaign for laws and policies, which benefits the working

people. The very reason these institutions exist because an individual worker

has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job.

They are the only institutions that give a voice to workers, whose circumstances

are often neglected by those in power. Unions seek to act as sectoral and

occupational unions for the common defense of employment, economic and social

rights. They conduct social dialogue with government and employers’

organizations; represent employees’ interests in state and municipal

institutions and courts of law; provide expert consultations for drafts of laws

and other legal acts and prepare proposals for amendments; and protect the

interests of employees in relations with employers.

A labour  union or trade union  is defined as a commercial entity consisting of

employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers

for one employer, or all the trades workers in a particular industry. The union

is formed for the purpose of collectively negotiating with an employer (or

employers) over wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.

The concept of trade unions began early in the industrial revolution where more

and more people left farming as an occupation and began to work for employers,

often in appalling conditions and for very low wages. The labor movement arose

as an outgrowth of the disparity between the power of employers and the

powerlessness of individual employees

Unions were illegal for many years in most countries. There were severe

penalties for attempting to organize unions, including execution. Despite this,

unions were formed and began to acquire political power, eventually resulting in

a body of labour law, which not only legalized organizing efforts, but codified

the relationship between employers and those employees organized into unions.

Many consider it an issue of fairness that workers be allowed to pool their

resources in a special legal entity in a similar way to the pooling of capital

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resources in the form of corporations. Today a government imposing a ban on

joining a union is generally considered a human right abuse. Most democratic

countries have many unions, while most authoritarian regimes do not.

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), 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 ...

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