GMB (trade union)
|Founded||31 March 1889|
|Affiliation||TUC, ICTU, STUC, CSEU, Labour Party|
|Key people||Paul Kenny, General Secretary|
|Office location||London, England|
GMB is a general trade union in the United Kingdom, and has more than 631,000 members. GMB members work in near all industrial sectors, with many working in retail, security, schools, distribution and the utilities, social care, NHS and the ambulance service and local government.
The number of GMB members has grown by 56,000 since 2005 after many years of declining membership. the growth is the result of the GMB@WORK policy, a programme of national and regional targets that are selected through special criteria know as AIM.
GMB originates from a series of mergers, beginning when the National Amalgamated Union of Labour (NAUL), National Union of General Workers (NUGW) and the Municipal Employees Association in 1924 joined into a new union, named the National Union of General and Municipal Workers.
GMB is the result of mergers with many others including the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff (APEX), the Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union (FTAT) and the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers (NUTGW). In 1982, following a merger with the Amalgamated Society of Boilermakers, Shipwrights, Blacksmiths and Structural Workers (ASBSBSW), the union was renamed the General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union, from the initials of which its present name is derived.
GMB is one of the three largest affiliates to the Labour Party. It is a significant financial contributor to the Party's national and local organisation. GMB gives Labour invests up to £2m a year in affiliation fees and other funds, making it the third largest union donor to the party.
In 2008 GMB Congress voted to withdraw local funding from around a third of the 108 Labour MPs whose constituencies received support from GMB, due to the perception that some MPs within the party were treating workers with "contempt" and generally not working in the interests of the working class and GMB members. Despite this the Congress opposed disaffliation from the party.
In 2013 GMB announced it was cutting its affiliation fund from £1.2m to £150,000 by reducing the number of members it affiliates from 420,000 to 50,000.
In 2013 GMB Congress, the lay member ruling body, adopted a 14 point plan to encourage GMB members to becone act in the Labour Party and to stand as Labour candidates for public office.
GMB has two representatives on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party; Mary Turner and Cath Speight.
GMB is led by a general secretary. In 2005, Paul Kenny was appointed the acting general secretary, in place of Kevin Curran who stepped down after being suspended on full pay during an inquiry into ballot-rigging during the union's leadership election. The episode was seen as a power struggle between the national office and powerful regional heads, led by Kenny, who opposed centralisation. Kenny had lost the 2003 vote to Curran. In May 2006, Kenny was elected unopposed as general secretary.
List of general secretaries of the GMB
- 1924–1934 Will Thorne
- 1934–1946 Charles Dukes
- 1946–1961 Tom Williamson
- 1962–1973 Jack Cooper
- 1973–1985 David Basnett
- 1986–2003 John Edmonds
- 2003–2004 Kevin Curran
- 2005–present Paul Kenny
Until May 2011 they sponsored Swindon Town Football Club, but when Paolo Di Canio was appointed manager they terminated the relationship because of his political views. A GMB spokesman said "He has openly voiced support for Mussolini so it beggars belief that Swindon could have appointed him, especially given the multi-ethnic nature of the team and the town.". They sponsored League One club Port Vale for the 2013–14 season.
- List of UK unions
- List of trade unions
- Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff
- G.M.B. National College, Manchester
- GMB's History
- "TULO’s member unions". http://www.unionstogether.org.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Party Finance - The Electoral Commission : Regulatory issues : Political parties : Registers : Register of donations to political parties
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- "Valiants strike up a new union". The Sentinel. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- GMB official website
- GMB London Region website
- GMB family tree on the Trade Union Ancestors website
- GMB Southern Region website
- GMB Union in AA Automobile Association Website
- GMB ReachOut Project (North West and Irish Region)
- Catalogue of the NUGMW archives, held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick