Strong Democracy: Unions are a positive force in society

Unions strengthen the democracy of a country

Unions have been, and continue to be, an important force for democracy — locally, nationally, and globally — and not just in the workplace, but in the broader community.

There are many ingredients that contribute to a healthy democracy, and unions play a role by making democracy work better in a lot of ways. A just and democratic society depends on a healthy and free labour movement.

Unions strengthen democracy by pushing for measures that benefit everyone

Unions strengthen democracy by demanding better social, economic, and environmental policies through various forms of political action and in coalition with others who have common aims.

Unions strengthen democracy by fighting for greater political accountability

It is no coincidence that in countries where there are free and active trade union movements, there are more democratic, transparent, and representative forms of government. It is also no coincidence that pro-democracy movements succeed where there are strong labour movements.

Unions strengthen democracy by opposing inequality

Studies show that union strength leads to greater economic equality, which is another important ingredient for a healthy and strong democracy. In those countries where there is no independent union movement, or where the movement is vulnerable, the vast majority of citizens continue to be trapped in poverty. It is in these conditions that instability and extremism thrive at the expense of democracy.

Unions strengthen democracy by actively participating in elections

Studies show that unions have a direct positive effect on elections. In countries where there are strong unions, voter turnout is greater, especially among vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as those living in poverty, visible minorities and racialized groups, and the working class.

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