The more employees who stick together makes the union stronger and therefore able to achieve more when bargaining for improved working conditions. If your workplace is highly unionised, then you as a union member, have more power.
Union membership is important because it can help you avoid the ‘pitfalls’ of being a new employee and ensuring you are getting the right pay and working in a safe environment.
Unions are also able to offer other expensive services such as legal advice and representation, so that if you need to take your employer to court, you have resources available to you. Some unions even offer other services such as travel discounts.
Some of the things unions have achieved over many years with the assistance of many thousands of members include:
- Occupational Health and Safety Laws
- Workers’ Compensation
- Annual Holidays
- The award system, which ensures that at least minimum conditions are met
- Types of Leave including long service, parental, sick, bereavement or carers’
- Paid Public Holidays
- 38 hour week
- Penalty rates for overtime and weekend work
- Workplace amenities such as lunch rooms, showers, change rooms, lockers and hot and cold running water depending on the industry
While it may seem incredible today, employers strongly resisted granting benefits such as these that we now take for granted as an employee’s right.
Joining a union will mean you can assist your fellow employees in fighting for improved workplace rights, including paid maternity leave and job security, two campaigns that Australian trade unions are presently arguing for.
To join a union visit Unions Australia