Why be in a union

There are many reasons to join a union. For some, unions are a community where you can push for more together in negotiations with your employer than you can as an individual. For another, the certainty of having someone to turn to if they need legal help in a dispute with an employer is crucial. For other union members, the fact that they are doing something not only for themselves but for other workers and together they form a community of people who share the same interests is crucial. 

There are many motivations, but in any case, it is the trade unionists who represent the workers and are the only ones who can bargain collectively with the employer – for higher wages and salaries, benefits or better working conditions.

Reasons to join a trade union

Collective bargaining for higher wages and salaries​

By joining a union, you strengthen the role of collective bargaining in your workplace and across the industry, which is an effective way to push for better pay. When workers join forces, they are more likely to reach fairer agreements with their employer than if they bargained individually.

These are not just empty words – we have concrete results: in 2022, employees in companies with unions where collective bargaining agreements are negotiated had CZK 7,819 higher wages than in companies without unions. This is CZK 93,828 more per year.

Collective bargaining for better working conditions and living standards

Trade unions negotiate not only on wage issues, but also on employee benefits, shorter or flexible working hours, the possibility of working from home, the length of holidays or psychological and social assistance in times of need. The provision of various benefits, such as contributions to retirement savings, post-retirement support, contributions to preventive health care, sports and recreational opportunities, etc., is often the result of active trade union work. Collective bargaining thus brings not only economic stability for workers, but also an overall better standard of living.  

A concrete example: working hours are lower in workplaces with collective bargaining agreements (CBA) than in those without. 


Emphasis on occupational safety and prevention

Trade unions are key advocates for the safety and security of workers in the workplace. They play an important role in promoting meaningful compliance with occupational safety and health (OSH) rules. 

Laws provide for trade unions to monitor the state of occupational safety and health in the workplace. The inspection activities of union OSH inspectors, whom we train as the ČMKOS, contribute to the prevention of workplace accidents, draw attention to deficiencies in workplaces, and lead to improvements in working conditions. Employers have a more responsible approach to OSH issues where inspections by union inspectors take place. 

A significant activity of the union is to assist its members in solving problems in the event of occupational accidents and diseases. These include cases where the employer unjustifiably refuses to acknowledge an accident at work and produce the documents required by law, or unjustifiably shortens or denies compensation to an employee. In this area, we as the ČMKOS also provide our members with legal assistance up to and including representation in court proceedings, with a high success rate. 

Free legal advice for union member

Members of trade unions affiliated to the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions have access to free legal advice. This service is becoming a key tool when employees face problems with their employers, resolve disputes over pay, working conditions or face other employment challenges.

Through legal advice, the ČMKOS seeks fair conflict resolution, which protects workers in the event of unfair treatment, discrimination or other legal difficulties in the work environment.

Benefits for members​

Trade unions and associations have a number of additional benefits for their members. Check with the president or one of the other committee members about the benefits offered by your employer’s union.

If you are a member of a trade union affiliated to the ČMKOS, you can also take advantage of special offers in the benefits portal OdboryPlus.