Why should people join a trade union?

What are trade unions?

Unions are all about supporting their members at work. Those involved in the union movement believe that all aspects of working life should be the subject of discussion and agreement between employers and employees who are organised together under the protection of a trade union. Trained representatives of the union lead this initiative, providing help and assistance to members. 

Should I join a union?

People generally join a union in order to get access to one or a combination of the following benefits: 

An independent voice to negotiate with your employer

It is a proven fact that on average, workers in companies with a recognised union earn 10 per cent more than a comparable non-unionised workplace. Having a strong voice in your workplace is important to ensure that you can make a difference. 

As a Unite member, you will always be consulted and your views are always valued, particularly during negotiations with employers. Unite negotiators are always trained in getting the best deal on your behalf.

Independent industrial relations and specialist employment law advice, support and representation

Who would you turn to if you had to go through a disciplinary procedure at work or if you had to bring a grievance against your employer? If you were being bullied, harassed or discriminated against at work, what would you do? 

Unite members turn to their workplace representatives. Unite trains workplace representatives to advise, support and represent members on a wide range of workplace problems. These reps are supported by our union officers who are, in turn, supported by our extensive research and legal departments. 

As a member, Unite will advise, support and legally represent you if you have problems at work, going all the way to an industrial tribunal if necessary. Of course if we win the case members would keep 100 per cent of the pay out. If you have a legal case resulting from a workplace accident or any other work-related legal case, Unite and its solicitors will deal with it at no cost to you. This includes: unfair dismissals; redundancies; industrial diseases; pay cuts; pension disputes; sex, race and disability discrimination; harassment and bullying and equal pay. With Unite, members never have to face problems alone.

Health and Safety

Do you feel that your employer is looking after your health and safety at work? Are you being exposed to risks that you don't think you should be? If you had an accident at work whom would you turn to for objective, accurate legal advice and support? 

It is a proven fact that there are up to 50 per cent fewer accidents in unionised workplaces. 

Union health and safety reps have legal rights to raise your concerns and to take action to prevent accidents from happening. Unite has a wide reaching network of health and safety reps and a sound track-record in training and supporting them. 

In short, unions are experts in helping people resolve problems at work, and the benefits of a trade union cannot be underestimated. Their work adds value to the organisations that employ their members by ensuring fair, safe and discrimination-free employment practices, which in turn promotes loyalty, flexibility and productivity. They are expert campaigners for industrial and social change - a positive force in the economy harnessing the strength and energy of millions of members.