Essay on Evoulution of Trade Unions in the 21st Century

2795 Words Oct 18th, 2010 12 Pages
A trade union is defined by Smith (2008) as an independent self-regulating organization of workers created to protect and advance the interests of its members through collective action. Trade unions were of course very important once upon a time, but their job has been done. The age of mass production is over. The new world is all about individual relationships, and unions will wither away. “A glorious past perhaps, but no real future” says Jacob (2008).
There was at least some evidence to support that view. Union membership had fallen every year from its post war peak in 1980. The government had cut unions almost entirely out of the political loop, and their electoral strategists were still convinced that attacking unions was a vote
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Usually this is to help people to get financial compensation for work-related injuries, or to assist people in taking their employer to court. Members can also take full advantage of the wealth of information which can be obtained from unions, of which can prove invaluable (Thomas, 1999). The kind of information available covers a range of issues i.e. the length of holiday that an employee is entitled to each year, the amount of pay an employee would be entitled to if they took maternity leave, and how training can be obtained at work.
During the last ten years, trade unions have increased the range of services they offer their members. These include: education and training - most unions run training courses for their members on employment rights, health and safety and other issues. Some unions also help members who have left school with little education by offering courses on basic skills and courses leading to professional qualifications. legal assistance - as well as offering legal advice on employment issues, some unions give help with personal matters, like housing, wills and debt. Financial discounts this is when people can get discounts on mortgages, insurance and loans from unions. Welfare benefits when one of the earliest functions of trade unions was to look after members who hit hard times. Some of the older unions offer financial help to their members when they are sick or unemployed. These benefits can be gained by an individual worker via a

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