What do trade unions do?
The core objective of the free trade union movement is the definition, promotion and implementation of the collective interests and rights of workers, particularly in relation to employers, but also in relation to the state and as part of broader civil society. Trade unions also provide their members with many social and welfare services.
The labour movement has been the most important historical driver of labour standards and worker’s rights. Trade unions have also frequently been at the forefront of wider struggles for political change, democracy and social justice. This has led to their engagement in a range of activities such as campaigning and advocacy, education and awareness-raising, policy development and the development of mutual financial institutions.