Functions of trade unions

Functions of trade unions

  • (Collective) bargaining for better wages. It is the responsibility of trade unions to negotiate with their employer for pay increases to match with the economic conditions the time such as increased cost of living; increased worker productivity and increased employer profitability.

  • Negotiating for better conditions of work. They negotiate for the improvement of working conditions and fringe benefits such as better housing conditions, longer holidays or shorter working hours, cleaner and safe working environment.
  • Protection of (protecting) members against unfair treatment. They protect workers against unfair treatment by employers through methods such as unjust dismissals, discriminative payment of wages and unfair promotions.
  • Advising government on planning. Trade unions advise the government on policies as minimum wages, wage freeze, wage restraint, manpower planning, labour employment policies.

  • Improving members’ skills through education. Trade unions educate members that members skills improve. This is attained through organizing seminars for members and giving members scholarships or bursaries out of union funds to enable members to pursue studies in institutions of higher learning.
  • Providing an effective means of expression for the workers’ views in society


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