Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reasons Why People Join Trade Unions

Imagine, just for a moment, a union member. What do they look like? What job do they do? What sort of person are they?

You could ask those questions while looking in a mirror. Union members look like you, they do the same kind of job that you do, and they are probably very similar to you. They want to be able to live in a safe place, with enough food to eat, and time to spend with the people they love, doing the things that they enjoy.

A trade union is the term for a group of people. Those people are linked together as they work for the same employer. They are a diverse group of people from all ages, races with a myriad of hopes and beliefs.

To ensure that their employer treats them fairly and well, the employees join a trade union. The group of workers, once they are union members, have a greater power. Together, their voice is louder than any one individual's voice. If one person goes to their manager to state that they are worried about the safety of work practices, the employer may not feel the need to listen. If all of the workers demand safer work practices, the employer will listen.

As part of the union, members can access professional advice on employment law and best practice. In certain circumstances, union members can access legal advice, should the need arise, to assist with employment matters.

People may join trade unions for many reasons, including;

They want to make their voice heard at work on issues that matter to them
They feel that they need some support at work
They want to enhance their career opportunities through union learning schemes
Their family members have always been union members
Their career matters to them, and they want to do all that they can to keep the things that they like, and improve the things that they don't like.

The main reason that people join is for personal representation, should they ever need it. When things go wrong at work, a person may feel isolated, anxious and alone. As a member, they will always have access to support. Union membership is the closest thing to 'job insurance' that we have.

Trade union members pay a subscription to join. That money goes towards;

Professional representation, when required, from TU Officials
Training for workplace representatives
Support from lawyers

Among many, many other things!

Despite what you may hear in the media, employees do not join unions to;

Cause trouble
Get out of working
Go on strike

Look in the mirror. Union members are just like you. People who join unions care about their jobs, care about their employers and they care about their lives.