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.


Workers’ rights ‘watered down’ in Johnson’s Brexit deal

The issue of what happens to workers’ rights has become a central plank in the Brexit debate as MPs prepare...

BMA apologises after report exposes ‘old boys’ club’ culture

18 Oct 2019

The British Medical Association has apologised to members after an independent review found that female doctors felt “undervalued, ignored or...

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‘Thousands’ of Asda staff face dismissal if they don’t sign new contract

17 Oct 2019

Thousands of employees at Asda face dismissal next month if they refuse to sign a contract that will require them...

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Gig economy: Royal Mail’s eCourier drivers to strike over employment status

26 Sep 2019

Drivers and riders working for eCourier, a same-day delivery service owned by Royal Mail Group, have voted for strike action,...

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Labour spells out plans for four-day working week

23 Sep 2019

A future Labour government would reduce the average working week to 32 hours, shadow councillor John McDonnell has told delegates at the party's Brighton conference.

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TUC urges Labour to scrap ‘all anti-union’ laws

21 Sep 2019

Pressure is mounting on Labour from the unions to commit to repealing all anti-union legislation since the 1980s.

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Co-op Bank, unions and retailers join global climate emergency strike

20 Sep 2019

Several companies are supporting employees in the UK who are participating in the Global Climate Strike protests taking place today.

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Tube workers to take industrial action over violence levels

13 Sep 2019

Transport for London workers on the District Line have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in protest at the growing levels of violence from passengers.

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NHS protest Brighton

No-deal Brexit could send NHS ‘toppling over the edge’

9 Sep 2019

A no-deal Brexit would send the NHS – “our nation's greatest institution” – into a state of chaos, health service union Unison has warned.

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TUC urges action to end graduate class discrimination

9 Sep 2019

Graduates from wealthier backgrounds are more than twice as likely to be on a £30,000 starting salary than those with working-class roots.

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Improve collective bargaining or face Victorian conditions: TUC

5 Sep 2019

UK workers risk being subjected to 19th-century working conditions if the balance of power is not reset between employers and their staff.

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New teachers to receive £6,000 boost to attract the ‘best’

2 Sep 2019

Starting salaries for teachers will reach as much as £30,000 by the 2022-23 academic year under a range of plans announced today.

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asda contract changes

Asda staff protest over contract changes

15 Aug 2019

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

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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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