WHAT ARE TRADE UNIONS?
Unions are organisations which represents the interests of their members. There are many different types of unions covering all types of work, for example
No matter what job you choose, there will be a Union for you to join.
HOW DOES A UNION WORK?
Unions seek to improve the pay and working conditions of their members and campaign for improvements in living standards and the quality of life. They do this in two ways:
Listed below are some of the rights Unions have campaigned for which you may be familiar with
Unions continue to campaign on many issues affecting people’s lives, both inside and outside the workplace.
HOW CAN I BECOME A MEMBER?
For most people whether in full-time, part-time or temporary employment, the usual way to become a member is to approach the Union representative in your workplace. You then fill out a form, pay a weekly/monthly fee, and you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a union member.
HAVING YOUR VOICE HEARD
When people in a workplace join a Union, they elect a spokesperson to represent them. This person may be referred to as a “shop steward”, “staff representative” or “union rep”. In large workplaces a committee may be elected to negotiate with the employer. Unions also have offices and employ full-time professional people to give support and assistance to their members. There people are called full-time officials.
IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS
There are many types of unions who look after the interests of different categories of workers. These unions join together in a national umbrella organisation, so that their voice and influence are increased. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (referred to as Congress) represents the vast majority of trade Unions.
Throughout the last decade Congress has represented workers in negotiation with Government & Employers at a national level. Congress involvement in this partnership approach has contributed to the recent rapid growth of the Irish economy.
The Congress Youth Committee is a group of young union representatives who are campaigning to improve the conditions under which young people live and work.