Gen United

What even is a Union?


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3 minutes

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You may never have heard of unions or if you have, you’re not quite sure what they do. Fear not, we’ve got you covered with the down low on these super helpful organizations.

Trade unions aim to create a balance of power between employers and workers, ensuring that employees – people like you – have a collective voice in decisions that affect their working lives.
Unions advocate for all workers, if you’re casual or part-time, at any age, gender, culture and religion.

Protection from Exploitation

In your first couple of jobs, you’re still finding your way and are probably not that confident standing up to your boss, which means you’re often vulnerable to exploitation, such as being underpaid, long hours, and unsafe working conditions. Unions can help you protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly in the workplace.

Access to Benefits

Many unions offer benefits such as discounts on groceries, gym memberships, electronics and much more. These benefits can provide financial security and peace of mind for you.

Training and Development

Unions provide training programs and educational opportunities to help you develop new skills and advance in your career. This can be especially valuable for you if you are just starting out in career.

Solidarity and Support

Joining a union allows you to connect with others who share your interests and concerns. Many unions campaign for climate justice, affordable housing and a fairer economy. This sense of solidarity can provide emotional support and empower you to advocate for positive change in your workplace and community.

Independent from your boss and the Government

Unions are member led and run; they are fiercely independent to ensure that you’re free to exercise your rights. “How do they do this?”, I hear you ask. Well, when you join, you pay a regular membership fee which helps run the union and enables you to access all the services and benefits described above! Oh, and did we mention that it is 100% tax deductible too – more savings – how good!

Overall, joining a union can provide you with valuable support and resources throughout your career, be a part of change for good with other people just like you and campaign to secure better pay, benefits, and working conditions.


United Workers Union are the union for Hospitality, Aged and Disability Care, Childcare, Cleaning and many other sectors.

Shop Distributive and Allied Union are the Retail and Fast-Food workers union.

For any other sector please check out the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

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