General Federation of Trade Unions (United Kingdom)

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GFTU
General Federation of Trade Unions logo.png
Full name General Federation of Trade Unions
Founded 1899
Members 214,000
Key people Doug Nicholls, General Secretary
Ben Marshall, president
Office location London, England
Country United Kingdom
Website www.gftu.org.uk

The General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) is a national trade union centre in the United Kingdom. It has 35 affiliates with a membership of just over 214,000 and describes itself as the "federation for specialist unions".

History[edit]

In the 1890s, the development of socialist organisations and socialist thinking also found expression in the British trade union movement. Many of the new unions formed during that period were committed to the socialist transformation of society and were critical of the conservatism of the craft unions. The debate revolved around concept of building "one-big-union" which would have the resources to embark on a militant course of action and even change society. This thinking gained strength after the 1897 Engineering Employers Federation lockout which resulted in a defeat for engineering workers.

The view that it was necessary to develop a strong, centralised trade union organisation by forming a federation, which had been rejected only two years earlier, was now endorsed at the Trades Union Congress of September 1897. This resulted in the establishment of the General Federation of Trade Unions at a special Congress of the TUC in 1899, the principal objective of which was to set up a national organisation with a strike fund which could be drawn upon by affiliated trade unions.

GFTU participated in the foundation of the International Federation of Trade Unions at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam in July 1919.

The federation has seen a large turnover of members, due largely to mergers in the movement. In 1979, its members were:[1]

By 2016, none of the 1979 members remained as independent unions.

Current role[edit]

The GFTU now concentrates on servicing the needs of specialist unions. It does this by providing courses, undertaking research for its affiliated Unions and administering a Pension Scheme for officials and staff of affiliated Unions. In keeping with its original objectives, the Federation pays dispute benefit in appropriate cases to affiliated Unions.

The Governing Body is the Biennial General Council Meeting, attended by delegates from affiliated Unions, at which policy and rule changes are debated and an Executive Committee of 14 members elected to meet on a monthly basis between Biennial General Council Meetings.

The Federation undertakes its Parliamentary activities by working closely with John Mann MP, Member of Parliament Bassetlaw Constituency, particularly in respect of proposed legislation.

Affiliated unions[edit]

Full members[edit]

Associate members[edit]

General Secretaries[edit]

1899: Isaac Mitchell
1907: William A. Appleton
1938: George Bell
1953: Leslie Hodgson
1978: Peter Potts
1991: Michael Bradley
2010: Doug Nicholls

Chairs[edit]

Year Name Union
1899 Curran, PetePete Curran National Union of Gasworkers and General Labourers
1910 Gee, AllanAllan Gee General Union of Weavers and Textile Workers
1912 O'Grady, JamesJames O'Grady National Amalgamated Furnishing Trades Association
1918 Mallalieu, ThomasThomas Mallalieu Amalgamated Society of Journeymen Felt Hatters
1922 Short, AlfredAlfred Short National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staffs
1924 Birchenough, FredFred Birchenough Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners and Twiners
1926 Hutchison, AlexAlex Hutchison National Union of Stove Grate Workers
1928 Sime, JohnJohn Sime Dundee and District Union of Jute and Flax Workers
1930 Kean, CharlesCharles Kean Wallpaper Workers' Union
1932 Aucock, WilliamWilliam Aucock National Society of Pottery Workers
1934 Saxon, WilliamWilliam Saxon Amalgamated Machine, Engine and Iron Grinders' and Glazers' Society
1936 Frayne, JosephJoseph Frayne Amalgamated Association of Card and Blowing and Ring Room Operatives
1938 Naesmith, AndrewAndrew Naesmith Amalgamated Weavers' Association
1940 Lee, JohnJohn Lee Amalgamated Textile Warehousemen's Association
1942 Taylor, AlbertAlbert Taylor Rossendale Union of Boot, Shoe and Slipper Operatives
1944 Moulden, HoraceHorace Moulden National Union of Hosiery and Knitwear Workers
1946 Dickinson, FrankFrank Dickinson Yorkshire Association of Power Loom Overlookers
1948 Worthington, FredFred Worthington Felt Hatters' and Trimmers' Unions of Great Britain
1950 Knowles, AlbertAlbert Knowles Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners and Twiners
1952 Robertson, ArchibaldArchibald Robertson National Association of Card, Blowing and Ring Room Operatives
1954 Heap, CecilCecil Heap Wallpaper Workers' Union
1956 Head, Albert E.Albert E. Head Chain Makers' and Strikers' Association
1958 Wigglesworth, JackJack Wigglesworth Iron, Steel and Metal Dressers' Society
1959 Tomkins, AlfAlf Tomkins National Union of Furniture Trade Operatives
1961 Driver, RobertRobert Driver Rossendale Union of Boot, Shoe and Slipper Operatives
1963 Titherington, FredFred Titherington General Union of Associations of Loom Overlookers
1964 Jackson, L.L. Jackson National Society of Pottery Workers
1965 Whitworth, JamesJames Whitworth Amalgamated Association of Operative Cotton Spinners and Twiners
1966 Sleeman, Edwin D.Edwin D. Sleeman Yorkshire Association of Power Loom Overlookers
1967 Doyle, RobertRobert Doyle Union of Jute, Flax and Kindred Textile Operatives
1968 Henry, Frederick CharlesFrederick Charles Henry Waterproof Garment Workers' Trade Union
1969 Hague, FredFred Hague Amalgamated Weavers' Association
1970 Browning, JamesJames Browning United Textile Factory Workers' Association
1971 Howcroft, ArthurArthur Howcroft General Union of Associations of Loom Overlookers
1972 Arnold, J. K. W.J. K. W. Arnold Ceramic and Allied Trades Union
1973 Tullock, EdwardEdward Tullock Associated Metalworkers' Union
1974 Gibson, HaroldHarold Gibson National Union of Hosiery and Knitwear Workers
1975 Whittaker, ThomasThomas Whittaker Rossendale Union of Boot, Shoe and Slipper Operatives
1976 Fenwick, MargaretMargaret Fenwick Union of Jute, Flax and Kindred Textile Operatives
1977 Hill, D.D. Hill Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers and Engravers
1978 Coates, DavidDavid Coates Furniture, Timber and Allied Trades Union
1979 Martin, JohnJohn Martin National Union of Lock and Metal Workers
1980 Wareham, Harry M.Harry M. Wareham Amalgamated Union of Asphalt Workers
1981 Smith, Leslie R.Leslie R. Smith Northern Carpet Trades Union
1982 Quinn, J. J.J. J. Quinn Amalgamated Textile Workers Union
1983 Spencer, AnneAnne Spencer National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers
1984 McCarthy, C. P.C. P. McCarthy National Society of Metal Mechanics
1985 ]]David Lambert National Union of Hosiery and Knitwear Workers
1987 McChristie, JamesJames McChristie GMB Union
1989 Murray, MichaelMichael Murray Rossendale Union of Boot, Shoe and Slipper Operatives
1991 Edmondson, KeithKeith Edmondson Northern Carpet Trades Union
1993 Hitchmough, AlfredAlfred Hitchmough Amalgamated Society of Textile Workers and Kindred Trades
1995 Marron, RonRon Marron Associated Metalworkers Union
1997 McCarthy, TonyTony McCarthy National Union of Domestic Appliances and General Operatives
1999 Pye, TerryTerry Pye Manufacturing, Science and Finance
2001 Leahy, Michael J.Michael J. Leahy Community
2003 Farrell, DesDes Farrell GMB Union
2005 Oakes, GarryGarry Oakes Ceramic and Allied Trades Union
2007 Nicholls, DougDoug Nicholls Community and Youth Workers' Union
2009 Marino, JoeJoe Marino Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union
2011 Mann, JoeJoe Mann Community
2013 Fray, JohnJohn Fray National Union of Journalists
2015 Marshall, BenBen Marshall Prospect

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Hyman, Richard (1971). The Workers' Union. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. 
  1. ^ Jack Eaton and Colin Gill, The Trade Union Directory (1979), pp.2-3

External links[edit]