List of trade unions in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is a list of trade unions in the United Kingdom formed under UK labour law. The criteria for being an independent trade union, free from employer influence and domination, are set out in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 section 5. The body which oversees unions, and awards a certificate of independence for the purpose of collective bargaining is the Trades Union Certification Officer. For the context and history see Trade unions in the United Kingdom.

Union confederations[edit]

Independent unions[edit]

The following is a list of trade unions that are Certificated as independent by the Certification Officer, as at 31 March 2017.[1]

Name G.S. Est. Members Description Const.
Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen 1880 18,500 ASLEF
Association of Teachers and Lecturers Mary Bousted 1978 198,102 ATL 2010
Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union 1847 20,496 BFAWU
British Air Line Pilots Association 1935 10,000 BALPA
British Medical Association Mark Porter 1832 152,200 BMA
Communication Workers Union Dave Ward 1995 201,900 The CWU was formed from a merger of the UCW and the NCU. 2012[permanent dead link]
Community 2004 23,000
Educational Institute of Scotland Larry Flanagan 1847 59,000 The EIS represents teachers, college lecturers, instrumental music tutors, head teachers and educational psychologists working in Scotland.
Equity 1930 38,197 Actors
Fire Brigades Union 1918 44,000 FBU 2011
The FDA 1918 19,000 Managers and professionals in the public service
GMB Tim Roache 1982 613,400 Formed from General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union, as a general workers' union. It includes the International Union of Sex Workers as a branch. 2016
Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association 1944 3,255 HCSA
Industrial Workers of the World 1905 2000 IWW; Britain and Ireland region membership current
Musicians' Union 1893 30,000 MU 2009
National Association of Probation Officers 1912 9,000 NAPO
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers Chris Keates 1976 333,223 NASUWT 2016
National Union of Journalists 1907 35,000 NUJ
National Union of Mineworkers 1945 1,283 NUM has very few members, given the dismantling of the industry after the UK miners' strike (1984–1985).
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Mick Cash 1990 80,000 RMT was formerly the National Union of Railwaymen and National Union of Seamen, and absorbed the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee. 2010
National Union of Teachers Kevin Courtney 1870 388,000 NUT was established at a meeting at King's College, London in 1870. 2012
Nautilus International 1857 22,000 A cross-border union for maritime professionals. Main offices are in London, Wallasey, Rotterdam and Basel. Previously known as NUMAST in the UK and FWZ in the Netherlands.
The POA: Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers 1939 37,500 POA
Professional Footballers' Association 1907 4,000 PFA
Prospect Mike Clancy 2001 118,600 Engineering, scientific, management and professional staff. 2013
Public and Commercial Services Union Mark Serwotka 1998 262,800 PCS 2012
Royal College of Nursing Janet Davies 1916 432,000 Royal College of Nursing 2012
Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists Steve Jamieson 1945 8,154 SCP
Society of Radiographers 1920 18,635 SoR
Trades Union Congress Frances O'Grady 1868 6,200,000 TUC is largest trade union federation of the UK 2009
TSSA logo.png Transport Salaried Staffs' Association Manuel Cortes 1897 32,000 TSSA 2011
Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru 1948 3,879 UCAC; National Union of Teachers of Wales
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers John Hannett 1946 425,700 USDAW 2016
UNISON Dave Prentis 1993 1,301,500 Formed from merging NALGO, NUPE and COHSE as a union for public services workers. 2016
Unite the Union Len McCluskey 2007 1,424,300 Formed in 2007 by a merger between Amicus and TGWU. Amicus was formerly AEEU and Manufacturing Science and Finance and Graphical, Paper and Media Union and UNIFI. UCATT merged in 2017. 2015
University and College Union Sally Hunt 2006 115,800 UCU; amalgam of the AUT and NATFHE. 2012
Voice 1970 20,124 Formerly the Professional Association of Teachers, it refuses to take strike action.
WGGB logo rgb72dpi.jpg Writers' Guild of Great Britain 1959 2,005 WGGB

Other independent unions[edit]

Scotland only

Northern Ireland only[2]

Non-independent unions[edit]

The following is a list of trade unions that have not been certificated as independent by the Certification Officer 31 March 2017.[1]

Scotland only

Northern Ireland[2]

Historical unions[edit]

See also[edit]

Key - Asterisk after name = Trade unions known to the Certification Officer but not applying to be included in the list for 31 March 2014



  • E McGaughey, 'Democracy or Oligarchy? Models of Union Governance in the UK, Germany and US' (2017)

External links[edit]