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Work dominates modern life Work can be satisfying enjoyable and rewarding Many of the difficulties which face several nations today arise from the fact that over many years a lot of people who want to work have been denied the chance to do so Most employers treat their workers fairly But some do not Complaints about the way they were treated by their employer are rampant Even the best bosses can make mistakes from time to time That is where unions come in Unions exist to help people at work and make the work place a better place Basically unions work on the simple principle that while an employer might be able to ignore the views of a single worker if all workers speak with one voice the employer has to take notice Unions encourage their members to take part in collective decisions on workplace issues and these views are then put to the employer From time to time Union members in the same workplace will get together to talk about common problems The issues most likely to come up are pay safety unfair treatment of a group or individual or simply the way the work is organized The union members will usually elect someone to speak on their behalf - a shop steward or office representative The rep will then discuss their concerns with management Where the union has a recognition agreement with management they reach decisions together on key issues In bigger workplaces there will be a number of representatives sometimes from different unions speaking on behalf of different groups of workers And in very big workplaces some of these union representatives will spend much of their working day dealing with union business talking to management helping solve problems on behalf of their members Most sensible employers welcome these arrangements They understand it is better for workers to have an independent means of dealing with problems rather than letting
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