Join a Union

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Trade union membership across Ireland is at an historic high. TThere are now more people in unions than at any time in our history. Congress now represents in excess of 830,000 people in affiliated trade unions, north and south of the border. Membership of trade unions has been increasing for a number of years now.

However, it is true that unions have not kept pace with the rate of change and rapid job creation in the economy, with one million jobs created over the last 20 years. But rising membership numbers show we are quickly catching up.

There is a very simple reason for the continued rise in trade union membership - people in unions are better off. They are better off financially by virtue of enjoying better rates of pay. This fact was most recently confirmed by the CSO's National Employment Survey (2006), which shows unionised workers consistently enjoy higher pay than those in non-union workplaces. Unionised workplaces also enjoy better working conditions, with individual unions frequently negotiating entitlements for members that are over and above the statutory, legal minimum.

Very few people would consider going to court without legal advice, fewer again would embark on major structural work to their homes without some expert input and suggestions. The same standards should apply to your work. Yet there are those who expect people to make very difficult and complex decisions about their work and career without the benefit of any professional advice or expertise. And those selfame employers who seek to deny union help and assistance to workers are themselves members of professional associations and avail of professional support at every possible opportunity.

It is your legal and constitutional right to join a trade union - and its clearly in you interest to do so. Below you will find a list of Congress affiliates and the sectors they work in. If you are not already a member, check to see which union is most relevant to your work. Alternatively, make contact with a union rep in your workplace.

Affiliates are categorised under the following headings:-