Trade union membership continues growth into third year

Nearly 100,000 people have joined a trade union in the last year.

29 May 2020| News

Trade union membership saw its third year of growth in 2019, according to official figures, with nearly 100,000 people joining up.

Data from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy showed there are now around 91,000 more workers in trade unions compared with 12 months ago.

The increase in trade union membership has been driven by female workers, now accounting for 3.69 million of the total 6.44 million members.

Growth in membership has been seen across both the public and private sectors.

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said the figures “show that union membership was growing before the Coronavirus crisis hit”. Indeed, the figures do not show how the pandemic affected trade union membership, but the public profile of trade unions has been enhanced by their important work negotiating protections for workers, such as the government’s furlough scheme.

“We know that in the law few months, thousands of workers have been turning to unions to protect their jobs, defend their rights and keep their workplaces safe,” Frances O’Grady continued.

“The hard work and dedication of millions of workers has brought us through this crisis. And together – in our unions – we can work our way out of recession.”