Definition of trade union in English:

trade union

(British trades union)


  • An organized association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.

    North American term labour union
    • ‘Therefore the trade union and labour movement now needs to get organised to fight back.’
    • ‘Three things kept Labour united: shared social democratic values; organisational inertia, and the trades unions.’
    • ‘These excluded workers included blacks - who have long suffered discrimination from the building trades unions - and non-union workers more generally.’
    • ‘There are no political parties, no elections, no independent legislature, no trades unions, no bar association, no independent judiciary, and no independent human rights organisations.’
    • ‘These are the conditions under which workers begin to form trades unions and the workers direct their struggle against the employers.’
    • ‘Democratic governments, democratic parties, trades unions and student organisations were all targets at various times.’
    • ‘But there was a much cooler reaction from other campaigners in the trades unions and Labour movements.’
    • ‘Some people are unkind enough to say it is a trade union and does not act in the public interest.’
    • ‘In recent times the old collective institutions, from the churches and community organisations to trades unions and political parties, have lost their roots and their purchase.’
    • ‘That organisation, like the trade union movement, can do a lot at national level.’
    • ‘In the rolling reform demands, just weeks ago state officials and public sector workers set up another group, workers for change, which wants to establish independent trades unions.’
    • ‘How long are workers going to follow a trade union that has no real perspective to offer?’
    • ‘The pressures exerted by political parties, trades unions, and professional groups contributed a great deal to this important development.’
    • ‘Workers do use it every time they organise a trade union and fight for better wages and conditions.’
    • ‘And the trades unions reminded Labour, painfully, that power is not without responsibility to those who helped put you there.’
    • ‘It is estimated that less than one in four immigrant workers are represented by a trade union.’
    • ‘But this was not a stand-off between trades unions and Labour over pay.’
    • ‘It is not an easy decision to become a trade unionist without a trade union.’
    • ‘Medical organisations, charities and trades unions have welcomed the move, but the country's licensed trade has threatened a legal battle saying a ban could cause 30,000 job losses.’
    • ‘I pay particular tribute to the trades unions and union learning representatives who are genuinely liberating the lives of so many of their members.’
    association, alliance, league, guild
    View synonyms


trade union