About trade unions in Britain

Demonstration by teachers against cuts to education budget

Unions were founded to help workers fight for better rights, conditions and pay. There are over 100 different trade unions, representing most types of job. Many unions were founded over 100 years ago.

Millions of people in the UK are members of unions. Unions have helped them get a safer, fairer workplace. They can help provide training and ensure a decent wage. Some offer advice and legal representation to their members.

Some unions specialise in a particular industry, others represent people from a particular background.

For example:

  • Independent Workers of Great Britain: represents many people who are self employed, for example cab drivers, food delivery people and security staff.
  • United Voices of the World: has a focus on migrant workers and people in low-paid jobs
  • Industrial Workers of the World: can help people with temporary jobs, people who have a travelling job, or people in workplaces with a mix of different nationalities
  • Unite: one of the biggest unions, it represents a wide range of full-time, part-time, agency and seasonal workers
  • The Creator Union: one of the newest unions, it is for social media influencers and digital creators

You can find the best union for you on the TUC website.

Image: John Pavel/Dreamstime

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