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Definition of a trade union

Economics notes

Definition of a trade union

A trade union is an organization formed by workers to protect their rights and interests in the workplace. It is a collective entity that represents the collective voice of workers and aims to improve their working conditions, wages, and benefits. Trade unions can be industry-specific, representing workers from a particular industry or trade, or they can be broader in scope, representing workers across various sectors. The primary function of a trade union is to negotiate with employers on behalf of workers and secure collective bargaining agreements that outline the terms and conditions of employment. These agreements often cover aspects such as wages, working hours, holidays, health and safety regulations, and grievance procedures. Trade unions also provide support to individual workers in cases of disputes or conflicts with employers, offering legal advice, representation, and assistance. Through their activities, trade unions seek to promote the welfare and rights of workers, enhance job security, and create a fair and equitable working environment. They also play a role in influencing labor-related policies and advocating for workers' interests at the national or international level. Understanding the definition and role of trade unions is crucial for workers, employers, and policymakers in fostering effective labor relations, promoting social justice, and ensuring a balanced and inclusive labor market.

How is a trade union defined?

A trade union is defined as an organized association of workers in a specific industry or occupation that aims to protect and promote their collective interests, improve working conditions, negotiate with employers on labor-related matters, and advance the rights and welfare of their members through collective action and representation.

What are some common activities of trade unions?

Common activities of trade unions include collective bargaining, organizing strikes, providing legal assistance, conducting worker training, advocating for improved working conditions, and lobbying for labor rights.

How do trade unions affect labor market outcomes?

Trade unions can influence wages, working conditions, and employment levels.

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