gcse economics - how we work- trade unions
A trade union is an organisation which represents the interests of its workers in negotiations about improving working conditions with employers and government..
There are about 240 different trade unions in the country about 33% of workers are in a trade union. Workers pay a monthly fee to their trade union.
AIMS OF TRADE UNIONS
• To increase the wages of their members
• To improve their working conditions
• To agree a certain number of hours to be worked each week
• To support members who have problems with managers
• To get extra benefits for workers e.g. pensions
HOW DO THEY GO ABOUT IT?
- Negotiations with managers i.e. general discussions
- Industrial action e.g. strike
- Help and pay to represent workers in court or legal battles
PRO’s AND CON’s OF STRIKES
- Has an immediate effect as production halts e.g. trains stop running if
the drivers strike
- Businesses suffer and have to take notice
- May get coverage on TV or in newspapers.
- May cause anger from the general public e.g. train passengers
- Workers don’t get paid when on strike
- Notice has to be given otherwise it is illegal
Overall the effect will probably depend upon:
- The % of the workforce willing to strike
- The support of the general public
- The strength of the management to battle it out
A In 2003 firefighters across the UK went on strike. Did you agree with this?
Why may a strike cause anger from the general public?
c Why is it important for a trade union that a high percentage of workers are members?
These GCSE Economics revision notes have been kindly provided by Peter Davies of Mill Hill School, Ripley
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