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TUC welcomes 90,000 rise in trade union membership

New stats from the ONS show trade union membership grew by 90,000 in 2023.

Commenting on new trade union membership statistics, published today (Wednesday) by the ONS, which show a membership increase of 90,000 in 2023, and an increase in the density of union members across the economy, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: 

“This increase in trade union membership is welcome. But our movement is not complacent. 

“We need to get more people into trade unions – especially younger workers. 

“Being a member of a union gives you an independent voice at work and remains the best way to win better pay and conditions. 

“Every day unions reach agreements with employers that protect and enhance members’ jobs and livelihoods and keep workplaces safer. 

“Employers and the economy also benefit from the productivity gains motivated and well-organised workforces bring.” 

The ONS stats also reveal that the union wage premium in the private sector increased in 2023 due to faster growth of average hourly wages for union members.  

On this, Paul said:  

“The stats speak for themselves - joining a union pays. 

“Workers in unionised workplaces get better pay and terms and conditions than those who aren’t. 

“The solidarity and power of a stronger, growing and more diverse trade union movement is how we turn the tide on cuts, casualisation and two decades of standstill wages.  

“And it is how we deliver what working people are asking for – a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage.” 

On the rise in collective bargaining coverage in workplaces, Paul said:  

“Collective bargaining is how we raise wages, improve conditions and cut inequality. 

“And collective bargaining doesn’t just benefit workers – it makes workplaces stronger too.” 

On the need for stronger employment laws, Paul added: 

“Employment law in this country remains stacked against unions and working people. 

“Under the Tories bad bosses have been able to get away with undercutting decent employers and with treating their staff like disposable labour. 

“Labour’s New Deal for Working People would allow unions to reach more workplaces so they can do what they do best – driving up pay and conditions for all.” 

Editors note

- Methodology: Trade union statistics are taken from the Department for Business and Trade’s annual trade union statistics release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/trade-union-statistics-2023   
- About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-welcomes-90000-rise-trade-union-membership

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