TRADE UNIONS AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
Trade unions were formed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to represent and protect their members’ interests at the workplace. In this early period, trade union demands of employers were only occasionally successful. However, as the trade union movement developed, negotiation with employers became more widespread and a system of collective bargaining was gradually established with tangible benefits for many trade union members. Yet, collective bargaining could only deliver a partial and uneven level of protection as it depended on the willingness of employers to engage in bargaining in good faith or on the power of the union to draw the employer to the negotiating table.