Trades Union Congress

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Trades Union Congress headquarters at Congress House in Great Russell Street near Tottenham Court Road, Camden, London.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a British organisation that represents the UK's trade unions. These consist of 71 affiliated unions with a total of about seven million members.

The TUC's decision making body is the annual Congress which takes place in September. Between Congresses decisions are made by the General Council which meets every two months. The Executive Committee is elected by the Council from its members. The leader of the TUC is the General Secretary, which is currently Brendon Barber.

The UK Association of Organised Trades, founded in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in 1866, was the forerunner of the (TUC). The Sheffield Trades Council, which is still active today, was founded in 1871. (Sheffield's early success in steel production had involved long working hours, in unpleasant conditions which offered little or no safety protection. It was no coincidence, therefore, that the city became one of the main centres for trade union organisation and agitation in the UK. By the 1860s, the inevitable conflict between capital and labour provoked the so-called "Sheffield Outrages").


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