Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union

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Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union logo.jpg
Full name Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union
Founded 1971
Date dissolved 1993
Merged into GMB
Members 85,377 (1971[1])
Journal FTAT Record[2]
Affiliation TUC, CSEU, Labour Party
Office location Roe Green, Kingsbury, London
Country United Kingdom

The Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union (FTAT) was a trade union in the United Kingdom.

The union was founded in 1971 by the merger of the National Union of Furniture Trade Operatives (NUFTO) and the Amalgamated Society of Woodcutting Machinists. In 1978, the National Union of Funeral Service Operatives merged with it, while the National Society of Brushmakers and General Workers joined in 1983. The following year, its total membership was 85,407.[3] The union was a member of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions.[4]

Initially, the union had six trade groups, reduced to five in the 1980s: upholstery, soft furnishing and bedding, woodcutting machinists, funeral services, flat glass and processing, and supervisory and clerical.[1]

The union was known for its left-wing outlook, inherited from NUFTO. In the Labour Party (UK) deputy leadership election, 1981, it supported Tony Benn.[1] Some of FTAT's Silentnight members, based in Barnoldswick, were involved in Britain's longest ever strike, from 1985 until 1987.[5]

By 1993, membership was down to 31,642, and the union merged with the GMB, forming the bulk of its new "Construction, Furniture, Timber and Allied" section.[6]

General Secretaries[edit]

1971: Alf Tomkins
1976: Ben Rubner
1986: Colin Christopher


  1. ^ a b c Jürgen Hoffman, Marcus Kahmann and Jeremy Waddington, A Comparison of the Trade Union Merger Process in Britain and Germany, pp.60-61
  2. ^ Marsh, Arthur (1984). Trade Union Handbook (3 ed.). Aldershot: Gower. p. 206. ISBN 0566024268. 
  3. ^ Arthur Ivor Marsh, Trade union handbook, p.188
  4. ^ Arthur Ivor Marsh, Trade union handbook, pp.84-85
  5. ^ "What came after the longest strike in history was finally put to bed". Craven Herald. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  6. ^ Jeremy Waddington et al, A comparison of the trade union merger process in Britain and Germany, pp.159-160

External links[edit]