Studies today reveal the magnanimous impact that trade unions have had both on members and non-members. The image of trade unions has undergone a drastic change over the past few decades such that today, they are primarily seen as a rallying force behind bringing major changes into a particular industry, its working conditions, pay scale increments and addition of fringe benefits. On an average, any industry that has a trade union (as the Danes say fagforening) tends to be more streamlined with less employee-employer spats. Here are ten distinct situations in which people have made or can contact a trade union to interfere.
Fight against discrimination
Sometimes, a worker may get discriminated against in the workplace. Regardless of the reason, it is wrong and a trade union can interfere by politely obliging the company to look into the matter.
For Better Wages
History is the best example of this cause. A majority of trade unions were established back in their hay days to deal with unfair wages and high working hours. Even today, industry norms are set unofficially by trade unions. A simple one day strike by a large union can cause a lot of damage to major players. Hence, unions play a pivotal role in the increment of base salaries.
For Fringe Benefits
There was a time when fringe benefits such as sick leave and paid leave were seldom heard of. If it were not for trade unions, people today would have to go without pay for having an accident or for maternity.
For Better Workplace
Trade unions for laborers and workers have always been created to improve the working conditions of employees. In the past, holistic profits were seldom a priority for companies as they are today. Hence, the credit for improving working conditions for workers has to go to the demands made by trade unions in the past.
For Fighting Grievances
Trade Unions are charged with a responsibility to hear out the woes of their members and try their best to address them. A Union can get into talks with the employer and demand an investigation into the problems of the concerned employee if they feel that he or she is getting ill treated. They can also interfere on behalf of a company and discipline its employees if they get out of hand.
Reserves And Funds
Unions tend to amass funds through their members to protect the wards of their own. For example, unions that cater to Lifeguards and other such hazardous professions often have some fund that is regularly replenished from the salary of their members so as to help families who have lost their bread earner.
To Ask For Reforms
Trade Unions can act as lobbyists in most countries with their own political presence. This is probably the most influencing of all activities that trade unions do. By voicing themselves to leaders of the state of nation, the problems of their members are better addressed.
Fighting for Justice
If a member of a trade union believes that injustice has been done to them at the workplace, they can approach the union to intervene on their behalf and file an injunction for an investigation.
This advantage or case of trade unions is best explained through the example of the teachers union in the United States. Because of their efforts, union members received a perk in salary by 5 to 10% more. What is astounding is that non-members too got a higher pay package simply because of the actions of the union.
In dire circumstances, Trade unions can file complaints and cases in the court on behalf of a member. They shall provide legal help and other required funding if they deem the case winnable or justified.