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OLevel

Business Studies - 7115

Trade unions

Paper 1 & 2

Trade unions

Trade unions

The workers who are joined together in a group to ensure that their interests are protected are known as Trade Union. 

It is a common phenomenon that workers share their interests. They want safety and security in the workplace. An increment in salaries is also one of the most common demands. Various training programs for different jobs are also included in the demands of employees. These are some of the reasons that trade unions are formed by the employees as they expect that trade unions help them to achieve improvements in various things. Some people consider that trade unions are like a pressure group to resolve various issues between workers and employers.

Why employees prefer to join trade unions?

It is a common practice that whenever a person joins an organization where a trade union exists, he/she is also offered to join the union. Though it is an easy process, it requires few formalities from which the most common is annual fee or subscription. Employees have to pay a fee to become a member of any trade union. 

Advantages of Joining Trade Unions


•    Improvements in working conditions like safety and security measures.

•    Improvements in the benefits of those members who can’t work for a temporary work period due to sickness or any other medical emergency.

•    Trade unions demand training of the workers to improve job satisfaction

•    Advice or financial for those who are dismissed in downsizing or after unfair treatment or false allegations.

•    Trade unions try to ensure employment if there is only one trade union and all the members belong to the same union. This is called a closed shop. 

•   Sometimes benefits are negotiated with the management for some facilities like discounts on some stores or on membership of any sports club.   

•    And the most common and important benefit is that trade unions work for the increase in the wages of the workers, negotiate working hours and holidays.

Disadvantages of Joining Trade Unions


•    The main disadvantage is financial as there is an annual subscription or fee to become a member of any trade union.

•    Sometimes members are asked for industrial action by the unions even if they don’t agree with the conditions. 

Functions of Trade Unions

•    They try to bridge the communication gap between the management and the workers to improve communication at the workplace.

•    They try to influence the governments to do some legislation regarding working hours and minimum wages of the workers etc.

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