A trade union like Australian Unions tends to be an organization that is made up of members. It is a membership-based organization. The membership should be made mostly of workers. A major aim of a trade union is to protect as well as advance the interests of the members in a workplace. Many trade unions are actually independent of any employer. But, trade unions aim to form close working relationships with the employers. It may be a partnership agreement that is between the employer as well as the trade union that identifies the common interests as well as objectives of them.

What a trade union can do

Trade unions are able to:

• Negotiate on agreements with employers that are concerned with pay and conditions
• Involved in discussing major alterations to the workplace like large scale redundancy
• Can discuss members’ concerns with the employers
• Are able to accompany members when it comes to disciplinary as well as grievance meetings
• Give members legal and also financial advice
• Give educational facilities as well as some consumer advantages like discounted insurance

Recognition of the trade union

The employers that recognize some union can negotiate with it concerning members’ pay as well as conditions. There are many recognition agreements that are achieved voluntarily.
When an agreement is not able to be reached moreover the organization employs above 20 people, it is possible for the union to actually apply for statutory recognition. It will need to first request recognition that will come from the employer. This should be in writing.

Concept of collective bargaining

When a union tends to be formally recognized by some employer, it is able to negotiate with the employer concerning terms and conditions. This is called “collective bargaining”.

If collective bargaining is to work, the unions as well as employers should agree on the way that the arrangement should operate. The contract of employment that a worker has may probably cover which collective agreements actually cover them.

Joining some trade union

Workers join trade unions for various reasons. They think that the union will be able to negotiate better pay for them. Some believe that they will get better working conditions such as more holidays and improved health plus safety. A trade union may be able to give training for new skills that are needed in today’s workplace. The union can provide general advice as well as support.

For example many workers may not know what their rights are. If they join a trade union, they can be more knowledgeable on this aspect. For example, workers can get to know about redundancy, maternal and paternal leave, etc.

Union members also have a right to be accompanied to some discipline and grievance hearing by some trade union representative. However, a trade union is not compelled to give this.

There are many trade unions that are present nowadays. You can have a look at the ones in your country and at what benefits they claim to be providing to people.

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