Affiliated trade union
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United Kingdom and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2012)|
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The Party was created by the trade unions and socialist societies in 1900 as the Labour Representation Committee. Since then, the unions have retained close institutional links with the Party, although these arrangements have been strained significantly in recent years, with the RMT and Fire Brigades Union severing their links.
Affiliation means that the unions pay an affiliation fee to the Labour Party; in return, they and their members receive the privileges of affiliated membership. Unions select twelve of the thirty-two members of the Labour National Executive Committee and elect fifty per cent of the delegates to Labour Party Conference. In many cases, local union branches also affiliate to Constituency Labour Parties and their members who are also individual members of the Party may represent the Union as delegates on Labour Party structures.
Members of the unions may opt out of the affiliation, so that the member is not allowed to take part in any Labour Party ballots (such as the leadership election) in which other members of the affiliated union are involved.
Since 1994, affiliated trade unions have organised themselves into TULO - The Trade Union & Labour Party Liaison Organisation, with a small number of staff to manage the relationship between the unions and the Party. A national TULO committee, with the unions' general secretaries, the Party Leader and Deputy Leader, General Secretary and NEC Chair and MPs' representatives, meets regularly to co-ordinate work and policy.
As of July 2015, the trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party are:
- Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF)
- Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)
- Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)
- Community (formerly KFAT & ISTC)
- Communication Workers Union (CWU)
- Musicians Union (MU)
- National Union of Mineworkers (NUM)
- Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA)
- Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT)
- UNISON (The Public Services Union)
- UNITE (general workers in public and private sectors)
- Unity (formerly the Ceramic and Allied Trades Union - CATU)
- Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW)
The General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) represents its members, seven of the smaller unions, on many of the committees if they cannot send a delegate.