Trades Councils

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Activist Resources

Trades Union Councils and County Associations are an important part

Trades Union Councils bring together unions to work and campaign around issues affecting working people in their local workplaces and communities. Trades Union Councils aim to:

  • raise public awareness of rights at work and the union role in enforcing those rights.
  • promote organising and recruitment drives to build union membership.
  • support union and community campaigns for dignity and respect in the workplace and beyond.

With the threats of racism and fascism, changes in the labour market and debates over the future of public services, the trade union voice in the community is as important as ever. The capacity of trades union councils to provide a local response and to organise trade unionists into coalitions with other progressive forces is crucial. They do this by providing services which keep local trade unionists up to date with developments within the wider trade union movement, and by taking up relevant local industrial and community issues.

How Trades Union Councils work

Trades Union Councils consist of trade unions or branches of trade unions which meet within the area covered by that council, or which have members working or living in the area. A union branch will normally affiliate to the trades union council in the area in which it meets. Each branch will then send delegates to the trades union council's meetings. These branches pay an affiliation fee. Their delegates elect officers from amongst themselves to represent the views and priorities of the constituent branches and to take responsibility for working for and supporting the policy of Congress and the TUC General Council. This is because trades union councils are registered with the TUC, rather than being entirely independent bodies. The Annual Conference of Trades Union Councils takes place over a May weekend.

For more details about Trades Union Councils, you can read the TUC's guide, Unions in the Community. You can also see an A-Z list of Trades Union Councils.

To download a copy of the Trades Union Councils logo visit our logo downloads page.

The issue of migrant workers and refugees has come to the fore in recent months. The right wing and facist groups have been making political capital out of the hardship faced by migrant workers and thier families. Trades councils, as part of the programme of work, are being asked to...
12 October 2015
This programme of work has been designed to ensure that trades union councils can identify the role they can play in TUC campaigns and help implement the resolutions passed at the 2015 trades union councils conference.
18 September 2015
This booklet contains all the resolutions that were passed at the 2015 Trades Union Councils Annual Conference held in Crewe
24 June 2015
Activists from across the North West will join many thousands of others in London on Saturday 20 th June to join the People’s Assembly National Demonstration. Full details of this can be found here . To assist those who want to travel to London, some transport has been arranged in...
09 June 2015
The 2015 Annual Conference of Trades Union Councils takes place on 13 and 14 June 2015 in Crewe at the Crewe Alexandra Football Club. The final agenda for the conference is available here.
21 May 2015
Trades Union Councils and County Associations are an important part of the labour movement, bringing together activists at a grassroots level and representing the trade union movement to the broader community. This directory lists all 152 registered Trades Union Councils and 27 County Associations in England and Wales, by order...
17 March 2015
This conference takes place on Friday, 27th February at Congress House. The conference, called by the TUC National Unemployed Workers Centres Consultative Committee, aims to bring together trade unionists and the TUC unemployed workers centres - to challenge the consensus narrative on Welfare and develop the agenda for a fight-back...
29 January 2015
The General Council has approved revised Model Rules and Standing Orders, prepared by the Trades Councils Joint Consultative Committee, for the use of Trades Union Councils. Trades union councils are asked to update their own constitution, rules and standing orders to ensure that they are compatible with the Model Rules.
22 October 2014
The Trades Union Councils' 2014 to 2015 programme of work, 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise', continues the themes established last year and is based around the TUC 2014 campaign against austerity ‘Countdown to a future that works’.
14 August 2014
This is an updated directory which lists all 154 registered Trades Union Councils and 24 County Associations in England and Wales, by order of the region. We hope you find this directory useful.
11 August 2014