Trends in Contemporary Trade Union Membership.

They are major organizations that understand the needs and requirements of the working people and help provide them with safe working environment and help negotiate better pay and compensation.

Trade unions play major role in the labor market in UK. The statistics of union membership is clear indication of its success as independent bodies that can negotiate successfully for the rights of the working population. BIS, a leading government department, regularly analyses government policies and publishes range of information and data of various public and private organizations to promote transparency. The major aim is to reveal as to how taxpayers’ money is spent and whether resources are better used to deliver value for money. BIS’ statistics on trade union membership is an important aspect that demonstrates its proactive participation in the welfare of the workers (BIS, 2011).

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But the recent fall in membership has emerged as major concern (Table 1. BIS, 2011) for TUC and government. The membership to unions has fallen from 2008 till 2011 showing its inability in negotiating welfare policies for workers in economic slowdown. The trend also highlights the fact that women have shown greater trust on the unions but membership has declined for workers for 60 years and above for the above period. The Table 2 (BIS, 2011) is hugely significant and shows that public sector has nearly double the union members (60.9%) as against the private sector employees (39.1%). Nearly 78.6% of members are full time workers, whereas only 21.4% of part time workers are union members. Most distressing is the fact that disabled membership of union is only about 17.5%. Moreover, the table gives credence to the fact that workforce with higher qualifications has more awareness and trust in union whereas non-qualified constitute only 3.7% of union members.

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