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CHAPTER SIX
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CHAPTER SIX

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  1. CHAPTER SIX TRADE UNIONISM

  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 Year Membership (millions) 1975 11.7 1980 12.6 1985 10.8 1990 9.8 1995 8.0 2000 7.8 2003 7.7

  11. Number of trade unions in GB Year Number of trade unions 1975 446 1980 467 1985 391 1990 306 1995 260 2000 221 2003 213

  12. Gender split of trade union members Male 53% Female 47%

  13. Age of trade union members Age Percentage of members Under 20 1 20–29 13 30–39 28 40–49 30 50+ 27

  14. Trade union membership by qualification Highest qualification Percentage of members Degree or equivalent 23 Other higher education 15 A level or equivalent 23 GCSE or equivalent 18 Other 11 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