A trade union is the central organizational unit upon which organized labor is based. Its role is to corral the financial and political resources of its members and sympathizers to create political, economic, and social change. It does this through several tactical approaches.
First, the trade union encourages the enactment of legislation favorable to its members by making political endorsements to friendly candidates, using the collective financial power of the dues it collects from its members to provide donations to those candidates and leveraging its trusted voice to encourage its members to vote for them.
Second, the trade union encourages the creation of workplace policies favorable to its members by using its corporate power to negotiate with employers. Applications of this corporate power can include strikes, pickets, and work slowdowns.
Third, the trade union can represent the personal financial interests of its members through a variety of collective and individual actions, which may include the creation of pension funds and the provision of legal aid to aggrieved workers.