Chelmsford TUC

TUC & Trade Unions

Why Join a Trade Union?

In Britain today there are almost 23 million people in paid employment. Most of them spend up to a quarter of their lives at work - longer, on average, than anywhere else in Europe. Work can be satisfying, enjoyable and rewarding and most employers treat their workers fairly, but some do not, and even the best can make mistakes. That is where unions come in. Indeed, almost every improvement in workplace conditions - for example- equal pay, stronger health and safety legislation and statutory redundancy pay, came about following trade union pressure.

On your own you cannot always defend yourself to your best advantage. Not only that - the time when you really need the expertise of a trade union is when you least expect it. Normally life goes on as usual then, suddenly, you are faced with injustice, redundancy, injury or illness. Of course you could always turn to a friend or solicitor for advice but most people find that specialist guidance is what they need - guidance that can only come from those sufficiently experienced in dealing with industrial problems. That is why every union has its own legal advisors and highly trained negotiators. If you would like to read more about this subject go to our "Use a Trade Union Solicitor" page.

Trade Unions and Young People

Trade unions are important to young people. Trade unionism is not all about white middle-aged men who only exist for boring meetings. Trade union life can be fun, as well as providing assistance when required. Indeed, it is particularly important for young people to join a union because they are frequently the most exploited particularly regarding pay, bullying, contracts and job security. Union membership can also help to obtain better training and career development. Some unions also have special forums for young people.

Trouble at Work?

Some trade unions have a telephone "help line" to enable a quick response to be given to your cry for help.

Each year trade unions win hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation for members who are injured at work, are unfairly dismissed, suffer from discrimination on matters of gender or race, and many other industrial issues.

- Free pension and legal advice is available to trade union members.

- staff in unionised workplaces generally get more pay and more paid holidays than those in non-unionised workplaces.

- Collective and individual representation on pay, health, safety and many other issues are provided by trade unions.

- Many unions have a vast range of financial and other facilities available to their members, covering car and home insurance, sickness benefits, mortgages, holiday reductions and credit cards.

- Unionised workers are less likely to lose their jobs than those in non-unionised workplaces. If this does happen, they receive better compensation.

- Forty four out of the top fifty companies recognise unions.

There is no doubt that trade unions are as necessary today as ever they were. Can you afford to join? The reality is you cannot afford not to join. Feel secure at work and home - pick up a phone and join a trade union today!

You can contact the TUC direct but if we can help you decide which union is the most appropriate for you, we will be pleased to assist. All you have to do is contact the Secretary and let him know your occupation and industry.