The IWA stands for a successful, green, and fair economy for Wales. As part of our work towards a fair economy for Wales, we have undertaken a short study into the trade union movement in Wales, and its potential to structurally re-balance Wales’ economy in favour of low and middle earners. We want to ensure that any growth in overall prosperity is distributed across society and across the economy, rather than being disproportionately absorbed by those at the top.
We find that there is a high scope for empowered trade unions to help restructure Wales’ economy in favour of those on low and middle incomes, additionally ensuring that any new attempts to grow and rebuild Wales’ economy are systematically more evenly distributed. Empowered trade unions are likely to increase the share of national income that goes towards remunerating labour, and to ensure that the ‘wage share’ has a flatter distribution. They can also increase the quality of working life for many people at the bottom of income distribution, and contribute towards economic growth by increasing demand.
Despite some patches of best practice from the Welsh Government with regards to the trade union movement, there is still far more that can be done to support trade unions in creating a more equal economy.