unions and Labour – a history
The Labour Party has its roots in the labour movement.
A hundred years of shared history
Over a hundred years ago, it was trade unionists who founded the Labour Party to give co-ordinated support to Parliamentary candidates who would speak up for the needs of working people.
Over the last hundred years, that strong link between the unions and the Labour Party has remained. Trade unionists have a special place at the heart of the Party, and are represented at every level.
Staying involved in the Party makes sure that the needs of ordinary working people remain at the heart of the Party’s policy programme.
In a hundred years of shared history, there have naturally been ups and downs - as in all relationships. But ultimately, the unions and the Party have stuck together because together we are stronger.
Real change for working people
Labour’s key achievement have made a real difference to union members, and the Party benefits from having a direct connection to working people through the trade unions. Labour in government has delivered:
- trade union recognition
- health and safety legislation
- paid maternity, paternity and adoptive leave
- protection for occupational pensions
- the National Minimum Wage.
An honest relationship
Labour’s trade unions are honest about their relationship with the Party. Trade unions tell the government when they think they’re getting it wrong. But they are also clear that only a Labour government will stand up for working people. By joining the Party and actively engaging in political activity, union members can help make sure that the Labour Party continues to be true to its roots in the labour movement.
unionstogether is the campaigning voice of TULO, bringing together all the unions that affiliate to the Party. Founded in 1994, TULO is a channel of communication between the Labour government, the Labour Party and the trade unions. It campaigns for the Party amongst union members, and within the Party to make sure the Party speaks up for working people.
Picture by permission of the People’s History Museum.