Advantages And Disadvantages Of Trade Unions

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INTRODUCTION The introductory section of this essay will cover the definitions of a trade union, the structure, and the policies. It also entails the union organizations early history and the challenges faced by them. According to Webb and Webb 1920b:1, a trade union can be defined as “a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their working lives”. A trade union is any organisation which consist of workers, or constituent or affiliated organisations, whose primary aim is to include the regulation of relations between its members and their employers, managements or employers’ associations. In 1992, the Certificate Office (CO) listed 287 unions in Britain with a total of 9.8 million members, although over 80 per cent of this membership was concentrated in the 23 largest unions with over 100,000 members each. This is compared with 375 listed unions and 10.8 million members in 1986 and 485 listed unions and 12.1 million members in 1977 (Certificate Office 1992; 1987; 1978). Trade unions are the primary institutions created by working people to advance their interests in capitalist societies and, despite the decline, they are non-trivial both in terms of their membership and the broadly positive effects they generate within the political economy (Freeman 1992; Metcalf 1994; Heery 2000). “The first stable and permanent national bodies date from around the middle of the nineteenth century and were mainly combinations of
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