What is a trade union and how can you benefit from it?

The Netherlands has quite a number of trade unions, each of which focuses on a different target group or industry. But what exactly is a trade union and why should you join it? We will discuss this in detail in this blog post.

What is a trade union?

A trade union is an organization that represents the individual and collective interests of affiliated employees. The most important task of a trade union, and already a good reason for joining a trade union, is to negotiate working conditions with the employer on behalf of the employees. This includes wages, the collective labor agreement and, for example, working hours and working conditions.

What does a trade union do?

A trade union can mean a lot to you and your colleagues. The largest trade unions in the Netherlands are FNV, CNV and De Unie. The primary task of a trade union is to join forces of workers so that a collective can be formed. This collective can speak at an equal level with employers and politicians. For example, trade unions can make agreements with large companies, branches or politics based on the interests of the employees that you as an individual could not realize. Think of agreements about work and income that are subsequently recorded in the collective labor agreement (CLA). The bigger the trade union, the more influence it can exert.

Why should you join a trade union?

Joining a trade union costs money, but in the end you will only benefit from it and it will most likely even make you money (for example through higher wages). Being a member of a trade union offers the following advantages:

  • Employers are organized. Trade unions form a counterforce that represents the interests of employees.
  • The trade union movement negotiates your terms of employment and can do that better than individual people. Expert people are employed for this. With your membership you pay their wages, among other things, so that they can get the best out of it for you.
  • Individual services such as legal assistance and tax assistance.
  • Substantial discount on your health insurance.
  • Help with personal injury and occupational disease.
  • Solidarity

In short, if you want to be sure of the wages you are entitled to and the right help with labor disputes, it is certainly worthwhile to take a closer look at the various Dutch trade unions and register with one.

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