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Unions help businesses recover from recession

16 March 2010

Trade unions are helping workers and their industries recover from the recession, according to a report published by the TUC. The Road to Recovery report calls on government and employers to recognise the value that unions can bring to Britain's workplaces and to economic prosperity.

The report add that unions can help to prevent staff feeling stressed and de-motivated by new working practises and unions also reduce the number of staff quitting their jobs.

The report uses case studies to show how unions have worked with employers to introduce green initiatives in the workplace, create redeployment opportunities for staff and negotiate changes to staff pension schemes.

The Road to Recovery says that, as well as giving staff an opportunity to raise concerns at work, unions are better at resolving conflicts. The level of employment tribunal claims in unionised workplaces (1.3 claims per thousand staff) is less than half that of the 2.9 claims per thousand in non-union workplaces.

The report also highlights some of the benefits more traditionally associated with unions including:

  • A wage premium – average earnings for union members are £13.07 an hour compared to £11.62 for non-members
  • Legal representation – in 2007 unions won £300m in compensation for members
  • Better access to training – employees are eight per cent more likely to receive two-five days training in a workplace with a recognised union learning rep

Tags: , tuc, trade unions, training, pay and conditions, legal support, economy, environment