a question I've wondered about and a bunch of helpful responses: what's the difference between an industrial union and a trade union?

@jamey good question. Here's my take. An #IndustrialUnion covers all workers in a given industry, regardless of what they do. Whereas a #TradeUnion covers all workers doing a particular kind of work. So an industrial union covering the aviation industry would include the secretaries, whereas trade unions covering the same workplaces would have mechanics in an engineers union, secretaries in a clerical union etc.

@strypey Sure, the basic definitions are straightforward enough, but that leaves out a lot about why the distinction matters. The discussion I linked to was more in-depth.

@jamey ah, OK, I must have missed the link when I first looked at your post. Fascinating discussion. One thing I'd add is that in some countries, like #NZ, solidarity strikes are illegal, so trade union members doing different jobs in the same workplaces can't legally support each others' strikes. The #NZ union movement was traditionally organized by trade unions, but has been moving to a more industrial strategy to deal with this, led by newer unions like #Unite.

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