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Home > Modern Studies > Living in a democracy > Trade unions in the UK

Modern Studies

Trade unions in the UK


Rights and responsibilities of trade unions

Trade unions have rights that they are entitled to but they also have responsibilities which they must adhere to.

  • To take industrial action in order to in order to protect the rights of the workers.
  • To hold a secret ballot in order to see if the majority of members are in favour of taking the action. To ensure that all forms of industrial action are peaceful and within the law.
  • To try to attract new trade union members.
  • Not to pressure anyone into joining a trade union.
  • Trade unions can ask members about changes in the workplace.
  • Trade unions have a responsibility to make reasonable demands.


meeting of trade union at Kvaerner Govan shipyard in 1999

Class Clips

Video clip about trade union action at a Govan shipyard threatened with closure in 1999


trade union march

Class Clips

Union action in the 1970s


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