Requirements to Belong to a Union: Functions, Training and MORE

Looking for a way to join a union? Do you want to find someone who represents you? In this article you will find your answers. Here you will know the requirements to belong to a union in Chile and many more.

Unions are the best way to protect your labor interests, but they also fulfill other functions, which we will explain later; So, keep reading the article and know everything about the unions in Chile.

What are the Requirements to Belong to a Union in Chile?

Form a union it is a right that you have as a worker, according to the Labor Code and Law No. 19,759 of the Labor Reform.

However, you are not required to form a union either; So the decision to form it is in your hands and in the possibility of fulfilling the requirements to belong to a union.

Now, it is advisable to belong to a labor union, since you have an organization that will look after your interests during work and your life outside of it.

Therefore, it is ideal that you belong to a union, and for this you will have to know the requirements to belong to a union in Chile.

It is for that reason that, below, we present these requirements:

  • Be over 15 years of age.
  • Belonging to the workplace, where the union is to be formed.

Now, these are the general requirements that you must have to belong to a union.

But you must bear in mind that when forming a union, the requirements for people to join them are also defined; Thus, Each union has its own requirements for membership.

So, to belong to a union you will have to investigate the requirements that they ask you to access it.

In the same way, it should be noted that any position you want to aspire to within the union, will have their own requirements previously established in the Union Act.

Therefore, if you want to become a union director, you must find out what were the requirements that were established in the formation of the Union.

Functions of a Union

What can you do within a union? Why should you belong to a union? They are some of the initial doubts that you may have and that we will answer you below.

Unions are formed by the workers of a company themselves, to protect your employment interests and your rights outside of work.

But beyond seek a defense of your employment interests, unions are also credited for other purposes, which reinforce their commitment to employees.

Now, those functions that unions have to take care of employees are the following:

  • Represent the affiliated persons in the various collective bargaining.
  • Ensure compliance with the rights established in the employment contracts of each worker.
  • Ensure compliance with labor and social security laws for each affiliated employee.
  • Represent the affiliates in lawsuits or claims of a judicial or administrative nature, who seek to denounce unfair practices.
  • Promote a good relationship between union members.
  • Promote technical, union and general education of its associates.
  • Listen to the concerns and needs of its associates and the company.
  • Promote the improvement of health systems and accident risk prevention in work areas.
  • Associate or constitute funds or other services that benefit its associates. (You can take into account technical, legal, socioeconomic advice, among others).
  • Associate or establish pension or health institutions.
  • Promote and ensure the improvement of the employment level of its associates.
  • Carry out the activities that are contemplated in the statutes of the law.

After seeing the functions that unions fulfill, it can be inferred that their purpose is to represent and protect its associates; but they can also develop activities that generate income, which must be used for union purposes.

Who can Belong to a Union in Chile?

Usually, membership of a union is free and open to everyone who wants to belong to the union, as long as he meets these two requirements:

  • Be over 15 years of age.
  • Belong to the union workplace.

If you meet these requirements to belong to a union, you can join the union group you want.

Nevertheless, the law allows each union to formulate its own statutes and, therefore, their own requirements to belong. Therefore, unions can establish statutes that reserve their right of admission.

In that case, you will have to find out personally what is required to enter and what type of people the right of admission is restricted. On the other hand, there are also some membership features, that are stipulated in the law, and that allow or not the entrance to a union.

These membership characteristics are as follows:

  • Only: A worker cannot belong to more than one union, considering the same job. That is, if the unions are from two different jobs, if you can belong to both.
  • Personal: The membership quota is not transferred or delegated.
  • Volunteer: Membership cannot be mandatory, just as disaffiliation cannot be prevented.

Formation of Trade Unions in Chile

Once we have seen the requirements to belong to a union, the functions and who can belong, we only have to know how a union is formed in Chile.

Forming a union can be complex and time consuming to do, but take it easy; here we will explain all the steps to follow:

  1. In order to agree on the formation of a union, call an assembly.
  2. Said assembly must be meet the minimum quorum required by law, according to the union to be formed and the type of company.
  3. In the assembly they must approve the statutes that will make up the union and, also, the directory must be chosen (everything must be recorded in a record).
  4. It will also require the presence of some «Ministers of faith», which can be: Labor Inspector, Notary Public, Civil Registry Officer and State officials appointed by the Labor Directorate.
  5. Take a few votes secret and personal.
  6. Deposit with the Labor Inspectorate the following: Original act of union formation and two copies of the statutes. Said deposit must be made within 15 days.
  7. Once the deposit is made, the union acquires its legal personality.
  8. Within 90 days, the Labor Inspectorate can make observations on the constitution of the union.
  9. After that period expires, the union has 60 days to correct or claim the observations.
  10. After this period, the union will be operational and functioning for its members.

If the deposit of the minutes and the statutes in the Labor Inspectorate is not made during the 15 days, another assembly must be held to constitute the union.

Minimum Quorum to Form a Union

In the previous section it was mentioned that a mandatory quorum is required to approve the formation of a union, so here we present the number of people you will need, according to the size of the company:

  1. Companies with more than 50 employees; they will need at least 25 workers.
  2. Company with more than 50 employees and no current union; they will need at least 8 workers.
  3. Companies with 50 or fewer employees; they will need at least 8 workers.
  4. Company with establishments; for each establishment it can be formed with a minimum of 25 employees.

In addition, There are two special cases that you should take into account, which are:

  1. Any type of union with 250 or more employees can be formed.
  2. To form any other union, other than those already mentioned, 250 employees will be needed.

What is it?

In this last section we will talk about what unions are, so if you still have not clarified their meaning, here we will explain it to you.

Unions are nothing more than organizing a group of employees to protect their employment rights and interests.

Said organization is allowed and established in the State Constitution and in the Work code, in article 212.

The same way, there are different types of unions that can be formed, which are:

  1. Company Union; groups together employees of the same company.
  2. Intercompany; groups together employees from two or more different employers.
  3. Independent workers; groups together employees who do not report to a boss.
  4. Casual workers; Groups employees of cyclical or intermittent jobs.

Now, if you want to know much more about unions in Chile, you can access this LINK

Finally, this type of organization is an advantage for employees, since they receive a form of representation for labor interests; so they will be protected and insured before the companies or foremen.

Therefore, it would be good if you are within a union, that is why knowing the requirements to belong to a union, they would do you wonderfully.


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