New evidence of the good unions do has been published by the TUC in a series of reports.
The reports by academics Alex Bryson and John Forth take account of the characteristics of the workplace, including size, industry and ownership, to isolate the impact of unions themselves on what happens at work.
The studies also take account of how strong the union is in the workplace and whether an individual worker is actually a member of a union or not. They also analysed the impact of collective and workplace bargaining agreements separately.
The top five findings are:
- unions are good for pay: Bryson and Forth found that unions secured a 6.5% increase in pay across like workplaces
- unions improve training: union members are up to 5% more likely to have received off-the-job training in the past year
- unions are better for family life: workers in unionised workplaces are less likely to say that there is a long hours culture at work and employers in workplaces with a strong union are less likely to say that it’s up to the individual employees to balance their family and work life;
- unions keep the workforce stable: unions reduce the number of people who voluntarily leave their place of work, reducing turnover and
- unions are good for innovation: Bryson and Forth found that workplaces with collective and workplace bargaining agreements had higher scores for innovation.
These studies, say the TUC provide fresh evidence for what union members and enlightened employers have always known – a strong union is good for workers and good for business.