Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff
|Full name||Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff|
Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries|
National Union of Clerks
|Affiliation||TUC, LMTU, Labour, FIET|
|Office location||70 St George's Square, London|
The Clerks Union was formed in 1890 and later was renamed as the National Union of Clerks. Then, following rapid growth and amalgamation with several other unions, the name was again changed to the National Union of Clerks and Administrative Workers (NUCAW) with a membership of around 40,000.
The union was founded in 1940, when the Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries merged with the National Union of Clerks and Administrative Workers, the new organisation being named the Clerical and Administrative Workers' Union (CAWU). The union organised in the white-collar sector in the City of London and across the country, and had particular success in recruiting in the engineering industry. In the 1960s its membership grew rapidly, but it was less successful in the 1970s, membership increasing by 18%, while that of its rival, the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs (ASTMS), nearly doubled.
The union changed its name to the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff (APEX) in 1972. It was the union at the centre of the Grunwick dispute in the 1970s.
APEX, like its predecessors, was an affiliated trade union of the British Labour Party and was a key influence on the right-wing of the Party, particularly as, until 1972, it enforced a rule preventing communists from holding positions in the union. Its relations with other unions were often difficult, as it competed not only with the ASTMS for members, but also with the National Union of Bank Employees and various general unions. In particular, a dispute over members at General Accident was referred to the Trades Union Congress Disputes Committee and the fall-out led to APEX's general secretary, Roy Grantham, failing to win re-election to the General Council of the TUC.
In 1989 APEX merged with the GMB trade union and now exists as a section within the GMB.
- 1940: William Elger
- 1946: R. E. Scouller
- 1951: Helene Walker
- 1961: David Currie
- 1972: Denis Howell
- 1983: Ken Smith
- Jürgen Hoffman, Marcus Kahmann and Jeremy Waddington, A Comparison of the Trade Union Merger Process in Britain and Germany, p.58