The added value of trade unions - A review for the TUC of existing research

| Publication date: 11 Oct 2017 | Theme: Employment & Social policy | NIESR Author(s): Bryson, A; Forth, J | Report to: Trades Union Congress

The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the current research evidence on the economic impact of workplace union representation. Our review focuses on quantitative studies that have been conducted on good quality, nationally-representative samples of British workplaces or employees, and we rely where possible on results from multivariate statistical analyses which control for observable differences between union and non-union workplaces or employees. We utilise evidence from qualitative case studies where this serves to fill in gaps in the quantitative literature.

The literature contains no robust and comprehensive evaluation of the net benefits from workplace representation. However, our summary of the evidence suggests that there is a good, prima facie case for supporting workplace union representation. One way in which employers may do this is through the provision of facility time.

Keyword tags: 
unions
unionisation
added value
literature review
Publication type: 

Research programmes