What is the purpose of the unions

About the purpose of trade unions

Low wages, overtime, short-time work, rationalization and much more: the struggle for economic livelihood is a practical necessity for the working class in capitalism. Not surprising, after all, in this society, profit generation is an inalienable purpose. Here human productive power is used to generate profit. And this only happens if for the employers, in whose economic calculation the “commodity labor” functions as a cost and therefore as a quantity to be minimized, a sufficiently large profit comes out.

It is therefore absolutely clear to a trade union in the 21st century that the concerns of wage earners (must) constantly come under the wheels. Especially when the latter are left alone in the fight against the interests of employers for more and more performance at the lowest possible wage costs. The trade unions are happy to step in as “social partners”, negotiate with employers and try to correct the existing rules by means of combative interventions so that a “good life” becomes possible. Of course, this does not change the basic situation of the wage earners and their miserable existence. Why is that when trade unions are currently opening up - guided by the desire for justice and social equality - to agree progressive collective labor agreements, to strengthen workers' rights and to campaign for a sustainable model of social security in Switzerland at the political level (Unia trade union). Or is it maybe even related?

At the workshop we want to clarify the purpose of trade unions in civil society by means of an input presentation and a subsequent thesis-based discussion and derive from this what to think of trade unions and their resistance “against the acts of violence of capital”.