The trade union congress

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2.1. The Trade Union Congress

2.1.2. Federations of trades union existing in the United Kingdom

Who has ever heard about the TUC? Who can explain what the TUC is?

You may have heard aboutit, but let’s remind us (explain) what the Trade Union Congress is.
Well, it’s the most important national federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom.

Indeed, compared with other federationssuch as
There are other federations such as:
- The General Federation of the Trades Union
- The Scottish Union Congress
- The Irish Congress of Trades union
The Trade Union Congress has a highernumber of memberships.

And the trade membership levels really reflect the gap existing between those federations.
In 2007, there were around 8 million memberships in the UK and
- The Trade UnionCongress counted (58 affiliated unions with) around 6.5 million memberships, it means 4 fifth of a percentage point (belong to the TUC).

If we focus on/Whereas there were only:
- 214,000 membersfor The General Federation of the Trades Union (35 affiliated trades union with).
- The Scottish Union Congress had around 630,000 members (39 affiliated unions with).
- The Irish Congress of Tradesunion had around 600,000 members (55 affiliated unions with).

Those numbers are really significant and partly explain why the Trade Union Congress is the main federation of the United Kingdom.2.1.1. History of the Trade Union Congress and other federations

Now, let’s have a few words about its history.

In the beginning of the 1860’s, trade unions were already established especially inthe northern cities of the country, industrial cities, where the conditions of working class were very tough. So, conditions were really hard and, on top of that, there was no powerful organisationunified to defend labourers. The too many different and conflicting trades union were not able to defend workers.
So, in 1868, trades union delegates met in Manchester to discuss the possibility of...