Trade unions see memberships rise by 30,000

Trade union membership rose by around 30,000 between autumn 2002-2003,
according to the latest Labour Force Survey.

Last autumn, 7.42 million people in employment were trade union member,
while the number of people covered by collective agreements sat at 8.75 million
– 35.8 per cent of all employees

The figures show that many workers whose terms and conditions are negotiated
by trade unions are not actually members themselves.

Union membership was 29 per cent for both men and women. Thirty-five per
cent of staff aged 50 and over were union members, compared with just 11 per
cent of those aged 16-24, and 25 per cent of those aged 25-34.

However, this rise is tiny when compared to the numbers that have left the
unions in the past two decades. Since 1984, union membership has fallen from 13
million to just seven million.

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