What is a trade union?

A trade union is an organised group of workers who have joined together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions, wages and a safer working environment.

Trade unions negotiate with employers on behalf of union members to agree wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and other policies.

Who is in a trade union?

Ordinary working people – nearly seven million in the UK – are in a trade union, doing all sorts of jobs. They include nurses, school meals staff, hospital cleaners, actors, professional footballers, shop assistants, teaching assistants, bus drivers, engineers, social workers and apprentices.

UNISON is the UK’s largest trade union, representing all those who work in our vital public services like health, education and local council services, keeping our children safe and caring for the vulnerable in society.

Thanks to our comrades at Unison whose document ‘What is a trade union’ is from where the above text is drawn


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