Toggle high contrast

TUC Aid Update

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date

Registered Charity No 299832

Message from Trustees

Solidarity with working people throughout the world has always been a basic tenet of British trade unions, which found practical expression in the creation of a charitable arm in 1988. TUC Aid affords us a unique opportunity to assist fellow trade unionists in their efforts to protect and promote economic and social rights of their people. It has also enabled us to provide humanitarian relief and rehabilitative care to thousands affected by natural and man-made disasters throughout the world in recent years.
TUC Aid relies on your generosity to carry out training and education activities aimed at capacity building in trade union organizations and foster their efforts in sustainable development.

We take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to all those who support us.

TUC Aid Trustees:

  • Ms Sally Hunt - UCU
  • Ms Sue Ferns - Prospect
  • Ms Gail Cartmail - Unite
  • Ms Sheila Bearcroft - GMB
  • Ms Fiona Wilson - USDAW
  • Ms Frances O'Grady - TUC
  • Mr Owen Tudor - TUC

About TUC Aid

TUC Aid was established by the TUC General Council in 1988 with a view to raising funds for humanitarian relief, long-term development, education and training activities and in developing countries and is a registered charity (Registered Charity No 299832). Since its inception, it has relied almost entirely on trade unionists for its funding and, is, perhaps, unique among charitable institutions in the UK in that it seeks to achieve its objectives in close collaboration with trade unionists in developing countries. It aims at promoting and protecting rights of working people and their values through provision of technical and financial assistance for capacity building. Such assistance is crucial as strong and democratic trade union organisations provide a firm foundation for democracy, and play a key role in enabling people to break out of the poverty trap.

What does it do?

TUC Aid has made significant contributions to capacity building in trade union organisations in developing countries. In the last 25 years, some 2.5m pounds were raised to fund a variety of projects ranging from emergency aid and/or long-term rehabilitation of victims of disasters to trade union capacity building. Only about 1% of the total expenditure for the period as a whole was devoted to administration of the Charity.

TUC Aid with financial support from the DFID helped build the capacity of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and six of its affiliates to combat HIV/AIDS through workplace action. Some 23,000 workers attended the two Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) facilities in Abuja in 2010-12, exceeding the initial target of 9,000. 5.8 per cent of the attendees were diagnosed with HIV and referred to appropriate hospitals for confirmatory tests, treatment, care and support. 431 trade union officials trained under the project took part in counselling colleagues on HIV prevention and in collective bargaining on the protection of the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. Unions developed workplace policies on HIV/AIDS with the technical expertise provided under the Project and have included HIV-related issues in the collective bargaining agenda. Some 600,000 members in the participating unions were reached through the information and education campaign activities organised at workplaces. NLC and affiliates are engaged in advocacy and lobbying as part of their efforts to persuade the authorities to take effective measures to implement the ILO Recommendation on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work (R200) and eliminate stigma and discrimination through the enactment of appropriate laws.

In Tanzania, 54 disabled people found gainful employment under a project supported by TUC Aid in 2010-11. The Project implemented by Disability Aid Abroad (DAA) in Northern Ireland had a special focus on disabled women who face additional barriers to employment due to a variety of factors including race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. Project activities were carried out in partnership with the Tanzania Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (TUICO), Radar Development (Tanzania) and Comprehensive Community-based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT) Hospital with financial support from the international trade union movement. TUC Aid is currently supporting a similar initiative by DAA in Uganda in partnership with the National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU). The Project aims at improving employment prospects of disabled people in Uganda through a comprehensive programme of skills training, awareness-raising of disability rights, placement of disabled people in businesses, the formation of a national disability committee and training of trade union members as disability champions at workplace.

We are currently supporting an initiative by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Confederation for the Americas (TUCA) to strengthen the trade union structures, institutions and networks in Haiti. The Project now underway in partnership with the Haitian trade union movement will contribute to social justice, democracy and decent work and improve working conditions for workers in both the formal and informal sectors in Haiti. The TUC Aid contribution will fund a series of activities aimed at training shop stewards, organising workers in the key sectors and building capacity in the Haitian trade union movement. The training of union organisers is a key component of the programme crucial to the success of the recruitment drive targeted on young people and women. The recruitment campaign will focus on workers' rights and entitlements, their protection, promotion and enforcement through collective bargaining and access to social protection. The upgrading of knowledge, expertise and skills of union officials will stand the Haitian trade union movement in good stead when participating in the revision of the Labour Code and enhance their impact on the process.

In 2013, TUC Aid joined hands with BananaLink in an initiative to improve the reach and effect of collective bargaining in the banana sector in Guatemala by providing training for men and women shop stewards.  The Project will promote unionisation in the Pacific South of Guatemala through organising, advocacy, social dialogue and communication linked to the process of national and international alliance-building. Enhanced capacity in the unions representing workers in the banana sector will make it possible for more workers to be covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).

TUC Aid is also funding the development of a nursery in the Gaza strip to help some of the poorest families secure enough food and improve their incomes. Union Aid Abroad development arm of the Australian trade union movement is working in partnership with TUC Aid in this initiative to support the work of the MAAN Development Center to grow high quality, organic seedlings for farmers across the Khan Younis governorate in Gaza.

Who funds it?

TUC affiliates and their members have generously responded to TUC Aid appeals. TUC Aid started raising funds from the general public through the TUC website in 2005. It has also been a recipient of funds from the DFID under the Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF) and Partnership Programme Arrangements (PPAs).


The easiest and most effective way of supporting us is to make a regular contribution to TUC Aid through the Give As You Earn Scheme.

Please, check if your employer operates a charities payroll-giving scheme. If so, you can join it by filling in a form available from the employer and authorize deductions to TUC Aid.

If your employer does not currently operate a scheme, you may encourage him or her to set one up. Your union representative may be able to help you.
Please, visit for further information on GAYE.

You may make a contribution directly. All cheques should be made out to TUC Aid and sent to TUC Aid, EUIRD, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.


Please, contact for further information:

Bandula Kothalawala
European Union and International Relations Department
Congress House
Great Russell Street
London, WC1B 3LS

Tel (44) 20 74671257
Fax (44) 20 74671343

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).

Setup now