Trade unions

A trade union is an association of workers in a particular industry or sector, designed to protect the rights, interests and working conditions of employees. Large trade unions in the UK include the TUC, Unite, Unison, the GMB and Usdaw.

Trade unions can receive recognition, or employers can derecognise trade unions. Employment laws protecting employees taking industrial action, such as taking part in strikes or picketing, are contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.


asda contract changes

Asda staff protest over contract changes

Asda staff have taken part a rally outside the retailer’s headquarters in Leeds in protest over contract changes that will...

ryanair pilots strike

Ryanair pilots vote to strike

8 Aug 2019

Ryanair’s UK pilots have voted to strike over pay and conditions, claiming that the airline has refused to deal with unions for “decades”. 

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‘General strike’ proposed to support Greta Thunberg climate protests

1 Aug 2019

UK employers face a 30-minute “general strike” in support of the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, according to a motion...

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Johnson’s Brexit chief opposes workers’ rights commitment

30 Jul 2019

Boris Johnson’s newly appointed chief negotiator for Brexit has criticised the idea of the European Union being allowed to “set...

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Unite calls off Heathrow strikes

24 Jul 2019

Strikes due to hit Heathrow this weekend have been called off so union members can vote on a new pay...

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BA tries to halt industrial action with High Court injunction

23 Jul 2019

British Airways is seeking an injunction to stop pilots launching strike action over pay...

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More women miss out on paid leave than men

22 Jul 2019

One in 14 UK workers are not receiving their legal holiday entitlement, with more than one million people not getting any paid leave at all 

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How employees are using social activism to make their voices heard

16 Jul 2019

With traditional union membership in decline, employees are finding new ways to voice their opposition to corporate decisions, as shown...

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university-of-cambridge-insecure-contracts

Job insecurity fuelling university staff hardship

4 Jul 2019

Seven in 10 university academics and teaching staff say their mental health has been “damaged” by working on insecure contracts,...

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gig economy doubles

Gig economy doubles in three years

28 Jun 2019

One in 10 working-age adults in the UK work on gig economy platforms, double the number who did so in 2016.

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south western railway strike

South Western Railway staff strike in long-running guard dispute

18 Jun 2019

Guards and train drivers for South Western Railway began a five-day strike today (18 June) – the latest walk-out in...

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Wahaca's South Bank branch

Wahaca backtracks on charging waiters over unpaid bills

17 Jun 2019

Mexican-style street food chain Wahaca has altered its policy on making serving staff pay part of the bills of customers who leave without paying.

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Unlawful inducements decision overturned by Court of Appeal

13 Jun 2019

The Court of Appeal has overturned a key employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal decision on whether employers can offer...

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Junior doctors to vote on four-year pay deal

11 Jun 2019

Junior doctors are to be balloted on whether to accept a four-year deal which will mean annual pay uplifts of...

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5 hertford street Loulou's

Mayfair club kitchen porters call for the Living Wage

6 Jun 2019

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has urged one of London’s most exclusive membership clubs to ensure its...

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