Trade Union Membership

Trade unions are organisations that defend the rights of people who work, guarantee that their working conditions are secure and negotiate better wages and conditions for their members.

Trade unions provide advice so you can exercise and claim many of the rights described in this guidebook.

ATTENTION! See which trade union you can become a member of:

    • Trade unions do not depend on employers or the government. All workers are entitled to join a trade union. It is a right established by law!

    • Workers do not have to inform their employers that they are members of a trade union. In the UK workers who are in workplaces organised by trade unions are normally better paid and more secure and for this reason it is important to join a union.

    • If an employer “recognises” a trade union, this union can negotiate with management on behalf of workers on wages and conditions. This is called “collective bargaining” and results in “collective agreements”. Many workplaces have collective agreements on wages and conditions above the legal minimum, safety and health, maternity and paternity rights, among others.

    • If you are a member of a trade union and you have a problem at work, you can speak to your trade union representative who will help you solve the problem with your employer.

    • Trade unions also provide legal assistance, for example, Labour Tribunals or if you have an accident, if you take legal measures against your employer it is the only way to guarantee and protect your labour rights.

NOTE: If you are a trade union member at a workplace where the trade union is not recognised, workers and employees still have the right to be represented by a trade union at meetings on complaints and disciplinary issues, and your trade union will advise you on your labour rights.

If you are not a trade union member at a workplace where the trade union is not recognised, it is still worthwhile to get in touch to know if the union is available to provide advice, should you join.