Union membership in decline despite better pay

Construction workers who are members of a trade union get paid more, according to official statistics.

But despite the better pay, union membership remains in decline.

Statistics published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills showing trade union membership for each industrial sector show that just 13.8% of people who work in construction are a member of a trade union. This is down from 17.0% in 2008 and 30.4% in 1995.

There were approximately 182,000 union members working in construction in 2014, which is more than the 176,000 recorded in 2013 but down 10% on the 202,000 members five years ago. Back in 1995 – 20 years ago – the number was 335,000

However, union members earn more, the statistics show. In 2013 the average hourly earnings for union members working in construction was £14.33. For workers not in a union it was £12.95. Union members therefore earned 10.7% more, on average, than non members.