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CHAPTER SIX TRADE UNIONISM. Objectives of this chapter Explore the definition and purpose of trade unions Explore why people choose to join/not join trade.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER SIX TRADE UNIONISM. Objectives of this chapter Explore the definition and purpose of trade unions Explore why people choose to join/not join trade."— Presentation transcript:


2 Objectives of this chapter Explore the definition and purpose of trade unions Explore why people choose to join/not join trade unions Examine data relating to the make-up and size of the trade union movement Outline the structure of the trade union Consider the role of the TUC and ETUC Consider the impact of the Information and Consultation Directive and European Works Councils Explore the future for the trade union movement

3 Definition of a trade union ‘An organisation consisting wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions and whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between workers of that description or those descriptions and employers or employee associations.’

4 Rights of independent trade unions The right to appoint safety representatives The right to receive information for bargaining purposes The right to be consulted in the situation of redundancies and transfers of undertaking The right to take time off for trade union activities The right not to have action taken against them because of their membership or trade union activities

5 Issues associated with independence Finance Other assistance Employer interference History Rules Single company unions Organisation Attitude

6 Trade union activities Power Economic regulation Job regulation Social change Member services Self-fulfilment

7 Types of trade union Company unions Craft unions Occupation unions Industry unions General unions

8 Single union agreements Support for goals of the organisation Single-status employment Flexible working Training Employee involvement No-strike clause

9 Trade union structure National Executive Committee Regional offices Area offices Branches

10 Trade union membership YearMembership (millions) 197511.7 198012.6 198510.8 1990 9.8 1995 8.0 2000 7.8 2003 7.7

11 Number of trade unions in GB YearNumber of trade unions 1975446 1980467 1985391 1990306 1995260 2000221 2003213

12 Gender split of trade union members Male53% Female47%

13 Age of trade union members AgePercentage of members Under 20 1 20–2913 30–3928 40–4930 50+27

14 Trade union membership by qualification Highest qualificationPercentage of members Degree or equivalent23 Other higher education15 A level or equivalent23 GCSE or equivalent18 Other11 No qualification 9

15 Factors influencing the decision to join a trade union Psychological contract Decline of the manufacturing sector Attitudes of young people Age of the workplace Increased legislation Employees’ increased knowledge Success of the trade union movement State of the economy Style of management Increase in flexible working Job mobility Roots of union power

16 European Works Councils At least 1,000 employees within the member states At least 150 members in each of at least two of the states 3–30 members on an EWC Meet at least once a year Employer pays the costs

17 Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 From April 2005 applies to businesses with 150+ employees From March 2007 applies to businesses with 100+ employees From March 2008 applies to businesses with 50+ employees

18 Trade Union Congress Bring Britain’s unions together to draw up common policies Lobby the government to implement policies that will benefit people at work Campaign on economic and social issues Represent working people on public bodies Represent British workers in international bodies, in the European Union and at the UN employment body – the International Labour Organisation Carry out research on employment-related issues Run an extensive training and education programme for union representatives Help unions develop new services for their members Help unions avoid clashes with each other Build links with other trade union bodies worldwide

19 ETUC Influence decision-making through working with key European institutions Negotiate with employers at European level Co-ordinate major campaigns

20 Partnership principles A commitment to the success of the organisation A focus on the quality of working life A recognition and respect of the legitimate roles of the employer and the trade union A commitment to employment security Openness and transparency Adding value to all concerned

21 Benefits for employees Greater job security A greater involvement in decision-making Better quality jobs Greater investment in skills and training Greater influence over the organisation and management of working time Improvements in recognition, membership levels and facilities

22 Benefits for employers Less time spent on grievances Better decision-making A higher skilled workforce Improved morale More flexible approach to work organisation

23 Future for trade unions Recruitment of new members Benefits for members Fight relevant campaigns Nature of the employment relationship Support and train employee representatives

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