For a start, unions stopped child labour. Unionised workplaces are safer, with 50% fewer accidents. Every year unions train 10,000 safety reps. Union members earn, on average, 12.5 per cent more than non-members. They have better job security and stay in their jobs for an average of five years longer than non-members. Unionised workplaces have higher productivity and fewer industrial tribunals.
Apart from that, though, trade unions have only gained us paid holidays, maternity and paternity leave, paid sick leave, equal pay legislation, pensions, and workplace anti-discrimination laws. Oh, and the weekend. It was unions that fought for a five-day working week.
And, of course, furlough was a result of unions negotiating with the government. We’ve all benefited by keeping the economy afloat.
The good news is that trade union membership is rising – with a net increase of 200,000 over the past three years. If you want to join a union, click here to join UNISON today.