Why unions?

Why do unions matter? Read more below.

This page gives our brief perspective on the importance of unions from a political standpoint. If you want to learn more about the basic structure of unions and how they work, we would recommend that you start with this general introduction from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) website.

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Defending our rights at work

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Standing up for social justice

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Fighting to transform society

Defending our rights at work

Unions are millions of working people, like you and me, coming together to defend our rights at work.

By uniting people behind its cause, the labour movement has won historic battles and secured crucial rights.

The weekend. Paid annual leave. The right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of gender, sexuality, religious belief, or political activity. These and many more were won by working people who came together to take action.

There is so much more progress to make and many more struggles to be undertaken.

But unions remain the most powerful weapons working people have in the fight against exploitation.

Standing up for social justice

In capitalist societies the workplace is a crucial site of exploitation, and a crucial site of working class resistance too.

But it is not the only one. Exploitation has many dimensions, and trade unions organise to address exploitation wherever it takes place.

Billions of people worldwide do vital work outside the workplace, in our homes and community spaces, that is often degraded and unrewarded. Our society continues to reproduce injustice - racism, sexism, xenophobia, the oppression of LGBT+ people and many more.

Working people need spaces and organisations where they can meet, form bonds of solidarity and organise against oppression in society.

Trade unions unite people against these oppressions on the basis that all our struggles are connected, and only united can we truly win.

Fighting to transform society

Fighting individual cases of injustice is vital work. But our capitalist society reproduces social and environmental injustice by design. If we truly want justice, we need to replace our cruel, wasteful, and failing social order with something better.

The Green Party is fighting for a Green New Deal, that rebuilds our economy on principles of justice and sustainability. We need to reimagine what work, life, and community looks like in a world beyond capitalism.

Our opponents are powerful and well-funded. Without the support of organised working people, our campaign for a just transition to a sustainable world will be over before it has begun.

We need millions of working people and their unions to participate in and defend our vision for a new society.

Unions are key to overcoming our unjust social order and winning something better.