Iron and Steel Trades Confederation

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The Iron and Steel Trades Confederation was a British trade union for metal-workers and allied groups. It was formed on 1 January 1917 as a merger of existing steel-workers' unions and it is now part of Community.


In 1917 Minister of Labour, John Hodge passed the Trade Unions' Amalgamation Act, which simplified the process whereby Trade Unions merged, amalgamated or federated. This was in response to both the difficulty of mergers under the previous legislation (requiring two-third majorities in favor in all participant unions), as well as a desire to push craft unions into general trade unions to cover entire industries[1]

Trade unions that have amalgamated with or transferred engagements to the ISTC and year it occurred;

The resultant union was named the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation. Both the Amalgamated Association of Steel and Iron Workers of Great Britain and the Tin and Sheet Millmens' Association balloted their members[vague] unsuccessfully in 1916 but were later successful. The Wire Workers Union amalgameted in 1922 but left in 1924, rejoining in 1991.

In later years the union also built up representation amongst workers in the electronics industry, plastics and glass, the manufacture of kitchen furniture, carpet production, and call centres. Expansion was especially strong in areas with major steel industry installations.

Responding to the contraction of the British manufacturing sector, the ISTC expanded into new areas in 2000. Both the NLBD and PLCWTWU pre-dating the ISTC having been formed as a trade unions in 1899 and 1866 respectively.[2]

In 2004, the ISTC merged with the National Union of Knitwear, Footwear & Apparel Trades (KFAT) to form a new organisation called Community.

General Secretaries[edit]


  1. ^ pg. 245 Men of Steel, Iron Steel Trades Confederation
  2. ^ pg 74 The Carpet Weavers of Kidderminster. Arthur MarshMalthouse Press Oxford

External links[edit]