What is union?

We explain what is union? and the types of unions that exist. In addition, the union of workers and history of the trade union movement.

  1. What is union?

The union is a group of working people in order to defend the financial, professional and social interests linked to the tasks and work carried out by the people who compose it. These are organizations with a democratic spirit that are dedicated to negotiating, with whom they employ, the conditions of employment hiring .

The word union  comes from the Greek syndikou , a term used by the Greeks to refer to someone who defends someone in a trial: ” protector .”

In Athens in particular, a commission of five public speakers charged with defending ancient laws against innovations was called trustees . And later, the word union with adjective value was used to describe what affects the community or community era.

  1. Types of unions

There are two types of unions, by representation and by financing . Within the first, they can be branch unions, where workers are grouped according to the activity of the company in which they work; the trade unions, which group those who work in certain trades regardless of the activity of the company in which they work. There are also business unions, which bring together the workers of a particular company that, in general, are only possible in large companies.

In turn, unions are called first, second and third grade.

  • Those who are made up of workers are called the first-degree union.
  • second grade, we call this in general to federations or confederations;
  • and an example of a third-degree union is that of the General Confederation of Labor.

The various trade union that emerges as a working group when there are not enough numbers of workers to form trade unions or branch unions. At the other extreme, the trade union center brings together different unions of various branches at the national level and, in turn, can be affiliated with international or world federations.

According to their ideology, beyond the more widespread model of class union (whether communist or anarchist ), the so-called yellow or vertical union is distinguished , which defends the interests of the employer (the vertical union is the union organized by sector of activity or “branch union.” It has nothing to do with yellowness or the defense of the employer’s interest that is clearly inconsequential); Sometimes trade unions are accused of being yellow or the term is used disparagingly to qualify unions or trade union centers that are seen as unattractive.

Within the second, the Financing makes it possible to distinguish between those who accept subsidies or State aid and those who limit themselves to the contributions of their affiliates, through self-management or, for example, through union stamps.

  1. The union of the workers

Union - employment contract
The employment contracts set the minimum conditions implicit in each hiring.

In this context, it should also be noted that the agreement that is established between a union (set of them) and one or more employment generators is known as a contract or collective bargaining agreement . These contracts set the minimum conditions implicit in each contract. For example: if the collective agreement signed by the Trade Union establishes that no employee in the sector can charge less than $ 500 per month, workers in the commercial sector can only receive monthly salaries greater than the $ 500 agreed previously.

The union of workers through a union gives them the strength and power to negotiate with companies , since it is often difficult to make claims and obtain satisfactory results by other means.

Workers have freedom of association to organize according to their own will and without interference from the State, firms or other unions. This means that no employer can force your employee to disenroll from one union or change to another. On the other hand, no union is in a position to affiliate members by force.

  1. History of the trade union movement

Although there are fundamental differences in structure and objectives , the union has been cited as a precedent for the modern union in terms of workers’ organization .

When the Industrial Revolution began , it was forbidden to make workers associations and qualified as a criminal offense. This occurred from 1776 to 1810. That is why there were no unions. After this time, the so-called tolerance stage took place in several countries , where workers’ societies of “mutual aid” or “resistance” were admitted, without these influencing the laws dictated by the State.

The era of tolerance was followed by union law at the end of the 19th century. The first country that recognized the right to union union was England in 1842. Since the 1950s and 1960s, trade union history has been redefined and expanded by a large number of historians.

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