A Guild, in Lendosan terminology, is essentially the equivalent of a worker's union, although a Guild differs from a Union in several key respects. The Lendosan system of Guilds is many centuries old. The "international" model of union, for various reasons, is not often found in Lendosa.
A Guild is essentially a league of people working or operating in a particular field. There are Guilds for most occupations, with the more active (but not necessarily largest) ones being guilds such as the Bankers' Guild (once just bankers, but now including economists and accountants), the Teachers' Guild (teachers and university professors), and the Lawyers' Guild.
Unlike a worker's union, however, they are seldom based around things such as employment issues. The Guilds are not the same sort of entity as those that picket offices and stage demonstrations over lay-offs. Rather, they tend to be fairly wealthy organizations, with expensive offices and efficient organization. There are very seldomly rallies and demonstrations. From their exterior image, they seem more like corporations, and often do have significant investments and property holdings. Their primary purposes are not so much the protection of members from market forces and unemployment as the protection of their members in legal disputes, in cases of unfair treatment, and so forth. Should a teacher in good standing with the Teachers' Guild run into legal difficulty, the Guild will provide them with support. Many Guilds also provide other types of assistance to their members, ranging from cheap training courses to Guild shops to (in some cases, such as the Aviators' Guild for pilots and flight attendants) accommodation for Guild members away from home.
As Guilds have different standing before the government as regards taxation, all Guilds must be registered with the Commerce Section. There are some professions for which Guilds do not exist, using Unions in their place. While Unions do not gain any benefits, they are a recognized entity before the law, much as a club or non-profit organization can be recognized. Because Unions do not tend to provide the same level of service to their members, their membership fees are often lower. Sometimes, a Union will be established for a profession which already has a Guild, usually by people who believe that Guild fees are too high. Unions, in the sense of the term used elsewhere, are relatively weak in Lendosa - labour regulations provide considerable scope for collective negotiations, and are often said by businesses to favour workers, but they also make strikes and other forms of industrial action quite difficult.