1. Collective Bargaining
Collective bargaining occurs when a group of people, such as the workforce at a company, bands together to increase its negotiating power. For instance, a individual worker might feel that a certain new safety measure should be implemented in his factory, but he might have limited power to get the company to install the new measure.
If the entire workforce is made aware of the need for the new measure and bands together to pressure the company to install it, there is a much greater chance that the company will comply. Trade unions band workers together, allowing the voices of individual workers to be heard and possibly made into a goal of the union. Collective Bargaining makes sure changes are negotiated rather than imposed.
2. Higher Wages
One of the top benefits of being a worker in a unionised environment is that you enjoy a better wage as compared to your non-union counterparts.
“Economic research shows that unionized workers typically receive higher wages than otherwise comparable non-union workers. This “union wage advantage” is greatest for people who would otherwise be lower-paid workers. This group notably includes workers with less formal education and skills, younger and less experienced workers, and women and workers of colour who experience discrimination in the job market.”
–The Broadbent Institute
Union workers are also more likely to enjoy consistent pay raises on a regular basis. With a non-union job, the employer can set the wage without any formal bargaining process or input from the employees.
One other key benefit of being a member of a trade union is that a union representative will work with you should you have an issue with the employer – at the time that the issue occurs.
Trade unions provide workplace representation for their members, have some influence over workplace policies and procedure, and provide protection from arbitrary discipline and dismissal. Non-union workers have theoretical access to rights under employment law. However, these are basically a means to seek redress after employment has been terminated. It is the representation of the trade union whilst the worker is still in employment – that is most effective.
4. A voice
Being part of a trade union provides each member with a voice, and the ability to effect change in their work environment. Studies show that employees are much happier working in an environment in which there is a dialogue between them and management.
5. Equality and Fairness
Unions have been an important defender of human rights and economic equality, and a major reason why extreme income inequality is less pronounced in the west.
6. Job Security
Due to the positive effects of the recognised trade union, unionised workplaces tend to have lower worker turnover. This benefits the employer with an experienced workforce, and provides an incentive to invest in the skills of employees knowing that they are unlikely to leave the firm – thus providing development opportunities and job security.
Trade unions actively confront the issue of inequality in the workplace, actively promoting equality and diversity whilst tackling all forms of discrimination.
8. Better Training
Unionised environments typically offer greater opportunities for training advancement to their employees.
9. Health and Safety
Unionised employers are held to the highest standard when it comes to health and safety. Ensuring that employees are protected and given the right equipment and resources to avoid possible injuries.
10. Rewards and Benefits
Unions often have access to greater loyalty reward programs with benefits for members and their families.