Issue date
06 Sep 2014

On the eve of the annual Trades Union Congress in Liverpool, the TUC has today (Saturday) published The Union Advantage, a guide to how unions make work better and society fairer.

The guide demonstrates the benefits of unions not only to individual workers but to employers and society as well.  These include:

  • 55 per cent of unionised workplaces had pay rises in 2011, compared to just 35 per cent of non-unionised workplaces
  • 16 – 24 year-old union members earn, on average, 33 per cent more than non-union members of the same age 
  • Union members have 3.8 days more paid leave on average than non-union members
  • Unionlearn improves Britain’s skills base and it supported 219,000 learners through apprenticeships, numeracy, literacy and other learning programmes in the year to March 2014
  • Union health and safety reps save taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds each year by reducing lost time from occupational injuries and work-related illness, according to government research.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Workers in the UK who are members of trade unions are better paid, safer at work and get more paid holidays than workers who aren’t in a union.  This is especially the case for young union members who get much better pay and conditions than young workers not in a union.

“But being part of a union is about so much more than just the individual benefits, it’s about being part of a collective movement creating a good society with shared prosperity, security and fairness for all.

“Our new guide, The Union Advantage, sets out these benefits and how we achieve them through strong negotiation, and by working with employers and government for an economy with decent jobs and sustainable growth.

“Being part of a union also means being part of building a better future for Britain through campaigning for a green economy and for the jewels in the crown of UK society like the NHS, public railways, social security and our public services.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- A full copy of The Union Advantage can be found at: https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/TUC_UnionADV.pdf

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews