Labour Research November 2021

European news

Union involvement

A new study by a Swedish think tank, Futurion, founded by the TCO union confederation, looks at the reasons for trade union involvement.

Based on a survey of 3,500 people, it finds that the wish to make things better for other people is a key motive, although this is in terms of improving the situation of work colleagues rather than an abstract wish for a better world.

Wanting better personal pay and conditions is a much weaker motive for union involvement, although growing up in a family with union links makes a positive difference.

There is no variation between ages in the findings, contradicting the assumption in some studies that younger employees have a more individualistic approach to union membership.