Letter: We need unions

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your leading article (17 September) asserting that the unions are just another lobby group "on a par with the AA, RSPCA or Greenpeace" forgets about the employment relationship. Unlike the commercial relationship between two businesses, the employer and employee relationship is inherently unequal. The less favoured partner needs special protection.

This is why trade unions continue to fight to achieve basic statutory employment protection, for the right to organise unions freely and for recognition for collective bargaining. In dozens of countries around the world unions are also obliged to fight for basic democratic and human rights.

Working people everywhere are being asked to pay a disproportionate share of the costs of the increasingly competitive global trading environment. Trade unions are playing a vital role in striving to ensure minimum standards of fair treatment and security at work. This, after all, is in the broad interests of society.

KATHRYN HODDER

Brussels

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