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The role of unions exists to assist workers with their rights in the workplace and to improve working conditions Unions inform and educate members and the community about the issues workers confront Unions are very important because it is unlikely workers would win these kind of battles alone Individual employees may not be able to do much but bound together in a union they have the strength of thousands to protect them The relevancy of clerical unions in Australia today is an important industrial relations issue Such unions have been a significant aspect of working life in the clerical and administrative area over the years as they have put forward many processes that have successfully changed working conditions Unions today have however suffered a decline in membership In some industries compulsory enrolment has been able to be used as an advantage but in many workforces today enrolment in unions is optional Therefore in one workforce a union may speak on behalf of all employees while in other workforce it may speak on behalf of a limited number of workers When considering a workforce with optional enrolment it can be seen that there will be workers who are not part of the workplace union In this situation the union can take the opportunity to give selective benefits to those workers that are in the union These benefits can be monetary For example a student union may offer discounts to those enrolled They also provide services such as legal aid taxation advice mortuary benefits dental care educational programmes etc These benefits are usually financed directly from union revenue The benefits may also be psychological For example a union member may feel more secure of his job because heshe is part of a union There have been many factors contributing to such a decline in membership especially the rise of unemployment An eight percent increase in this has led
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