This is a continuation of an earlier post titled, meaning of trade union:
Trade unions perform series of functions but they can be classify into four types viz;
Educational functions
Economic functions
Political functions
Social functions
Trade union members are usually people of the same social background. They exchange experiences and they are also of much assistance to one another. Trade union members get educated at various levels.
They normally hold general meeting where members are educated on the state of matters concerning their conditions of service.
Trade unions also educate their member through different medium like Newsletter, Notice Board, conferences, workshops and the internet.

The trade union performs economic functions by contributing their resources together in terms of Wages and Salaries to sponsor their union at any given time through their check-off dues.
They make sure that the rate at which they are paid in their various establishment is the same as that of their colleague who do similar jobs in relatively comparative environment.
They make sure that their wages and salaries come with the general standard of living.

Trade unions members are usually very conscious of the political state of their countries. This enables them to know what their rights are under different governments.

They usually make effort to see that some members secure some strategic political post through which they can promote industrial democracy.
They seek to advocate industrial peace, but in cases where their demands are not met, they resolve into strike actions.
In Nigeria, for example, in any work environment, there are usually some elements of politics. The political aspirants usually make sure they are in good terms with the executive of the trade unions. This they believe would enable them to have more votes.

Trade unions members are usually see themselves as brothers and sisters fighting the cause; therefore go to the extent of not only seeing to the fact that their members are not cheated.
They also go to the extent of helping their members who may be found themselves in terrible situations.
They try as much as possible to be of help to one another outside the four wall of their establishment.

Keep posted.

Akeem Gbadamosi, M.Sc. Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management