A trade union serves to protect the interest of its members in their workplace and it is one of its main aims. Other than this, its duties, goals and purposes are many, which will be stated further in the text. Trade unions are in most cases completely unrelated to a specific employer, but they tend to keep good relationships with many employers, which is why there are sometimes cases when trade unions and the employers form partnership agreements.
Some of the main goals and purposes of a trade union are:
• Negotiating with employers about pay and working conditions of the workers, aiming to achieve the agreement with the best outcome for the workers
• Discussing all the concerns their members may have with the employers, such as discrimination, disciplinary procedures and other
• Helping the workers if they have any disputes with the employers and sending another union member as a witness during the process of resolving disputes
• Discussing all the major changes to the company with the employers
• Providing legal and financial advice to their members in all situations – when there is a dispute with an employer, when the workers are discriminated or any of their rights are violated
• Accompanying and helping their members during disciplinary procedure and other procedures, whether within the company or in court
• Providing education facilities for the union members
• Providing some benefits for the union members, such as cheaper health or life insurance, discount on certain legal services, health-related services, travels, reduces school and scholarship-relates fees and other benefits.
If you want to join a trade union, you are legally entitled to doing so, no matter if the trade union has been officially recognized or not, and regardless of your workplace. Being a trade union member does not allow your employer to treat you unfairly in any way. Trade union membership must not be a reason for the employer to refuse your employment, dismiss you from work or selects you for redundancy. If any of these situations occurs, you are allowed to take legal action and take the case to an industrial tribunal.