This week is Heart Unions Week. A week that highlights the good work that trade unions do every day to offer everyone a voice at work and a chance to tell the story about why unions are vital for everyone at work, and encourage people who aren’t yet in a union to join.
I am proud to be the the Secretary of the Trade Union Group of MPs and have spent my life working with trade unions. Whether that’s in Parliament as a proud Labour MP or my previous work as a solicitor representing those injured or mistreated at work.
Why should I join a union?
On average, union members get higher pay than non-members. They are also likely to get better sickness and pension benefits, more paid holiday and more control over things like shifts and working hours. This is because workers join together to negotiate pay and conditions rather than leaving them up to managers.
Unions make sure working people are treated with respect – for example, opposing managers closing pensions schemes and stopping new workers being employed on worse terms and conditions.
Unions push managers to make workplaces more inclusive for women, LGBT workers, Black and minority ethnic workers, older workers and disabled workers. When there’s a strong trade union, women are far less likely to face problems at work while pregnant, on maternity leave or when they return to work.
Workplaces where there are unions are safer workplaces. Every year, unions train 10,000 reps to spot unsafe working practices and cut accident rates. That’s why workplaces with union representation have significantly lower injury rates.
If you run into problems at work, your union has got your back. The union’s legal team can make sure you are treated fairly – without you having to worry about paying. Every year, unions win millions in compensation for members who suffer injuries or are treated unfairly at work.
Unions help our members get on in life. Every year, unions help more than 200,000 working people get the skills they need to get better-paid jobs. And we push employers to make sure ordinary working people get chances for training and promotion.
Unions make sure working people get a voice at work. Companies where workers are involved in decisions have better training opportunities, are fairly rewarded and can help companies survive bad times.
If you’re unsure which union is best for you, the TUC have a helpful guide. Isn’t it time you joined a union?