The new president of the Isle of Man Trades Council is predicting a much higher profile for the movement, as the economic downturn begins to bite.
Angela Moffatt says union membership is growing rapidly, with workers across the board concerned over pay, job security and pensions reform.
She says during two decades of economic growth, it's been relatively quiet on the industrial relations scene.
However, that trend looks likely to change.
She told Manx Radio:
"Inevitably, if there is nothing significantly causing alarm bells attendance will slip.
"In recent months we've actually had unions come and join the Trades Council who have never been involved before, and we have noted there are several more who are seeking to affiliate.
"We've seen attendance rocket up, particularly over issues like pensions, and that renewed activism among trade unionists really shows that we have a much busier schedule and we have a much more difficult period, that we all need to be involved in."
The Isle of Man Trades Council brings together the Island's workplace unions to campaign on common issues.