Importance of Trade Unions

Trade union is a group or organization made up of members joined mainly by employees so they can have their goals and interests well represented. One of the union’s main goals is to protect and promote the interests of its members in the workplace. Trade unions’ origins date back to medieval craftsmen’s guilds, but industrialization in the 19th century led to the growth of national unions, culminating in the Trade Union Act of 1871. Their reach and influence extended into the 20th century. Trade union membership decline and collective bargaining in recent decades is well documented.


Trade unions has it owns importance to both the employees and employers. It helps employees as it helps securing a better deal at work by enabling employees with one voice to speak to the employer. It also helps securing a job with better benefits such as better pension benefits, more maternity, paternity and sick leaves. More than nine in 10 workers covered by a union contract (94%) have access to employer-sponsored health benefits, compared with just 68% of nonunion workers. Also there is a higher chance employees get to control the working hours more and get more paid holidays. Employees in non-unionized work places get 6.5% less salaries in comparison with similar unionized work places. Also unionized workplaces have lesser pay gaps between men and woman doing similar work. Hourly wages for women represented by a union are 5.8% higher on average than for nonunionized women with comparable characteristics.  Every employee also gets protection from unjustified dismissal at work. Other than this, employees are also protected from workplace harassment, bullying or any kind of discrimination at work such as race, religion, color or sex. Trade unions also provide access to legal advice on labor matters and can represent you in any labor court if needed. The bottom line is that the urge to join a union often stems from workers’ beliefs. They realize that unity is the only way to protect them from control.

On the other hand employers have their own benefits from trade unions such as the union always wants the business to perform better because when a business is thriving its good for the workers too. Unions create better communication between the employers and the employees hence the trust increases between them, as the workers feel their problems are being heard and fairly solved. So when there is such trust the productivity level always increases for the business, more efficient workers leading to increase in productivity. Also as trade unions increase the safety for the employees it helps the business as well as it reduces the number of accidents at work, the Guardian reports that some union workplaces have a 50 percent lower injury rate than industry norms. Also better working environment leads to healthier employees hence less health related issues. That means reducing overall costs of the business. Trade union also helps the business with improving staff retention as the better working environment, more benefits, more control over working hours will motivate the staff to stay. As well if they have any issue with their jobs they know they can raise their concern and their issues will be solved so they will try to work efficiently and stay for a longer period. Also equality at workplace and no discrimination due to the unions will help the business to waste less time on settling complaints and focus more on their goals. Overall recognizing a union is being recognized as a good employer and the business has nothing to fear or lose and there is only benefit and it’s the same for the employees. And the evidence only suggests that unionized firms have either the same or more profit than the one not unionized.