The Greater London Association
of Trade Union Councils (GLATUC) is the inheritor of a long and proud
It is the successor body
to the London Trades Council. The LTC was founded in 1860 as one of
the first Trades Councils in the country. It was instrumental with
other Trades Councils - particularly Manchester and Salford - in setting
up the TUC. It had a prominent role in the various working class struggles
in the capital and nationally. In the 1860s it assisted in the set-up
of the International Working Men's Association (the "First International").
It became closely involved in the struggles of New Unionism - in the
docks, the match girls, gas workers. It took a leading role in opposing
the use of troops in industrial disputes.
Through all the struggles of the 1900s, the LTC took a leading role - including the period of intense struggle from 1919 to the General Strike of 1926 - and on in to the 30s, 40s and 50s. In the Second World War it campaigned for equal pay for women workers mobilized for the war effort. It promoted increased production in combination with a greater say for workers in organizing production. In 1941 it organized a rally in Trafalgar Square supporting the Soviet Union, thus laying the foundations for the Second Front campaign. In the post-war period it campaigned for the nationalization of the mines, electricity supply and transport. In the 1950s the LTC was in conflict with the TUC and the London Federation of Trades Councils was set up. In 1962 Willesden Trades Council (now within Brent) was the last meeting addressed by Nelson Mandela before his return to South Africa and prison. The London Federation and GLATUC, its successor, helped found and remain central to anti-apartheid campaigning in Britain.
GLATUC, formed in 1974 to
succeed the London Federation, cut its teeth in the miner's strikes
and anti-Tory battles of the 1970s and then the long haul in the face
of the Thatcher/Major onslaught from 1979 to 1997. Every sector was
involved in one way or another - health, civil service, miners, print,
rail, tube, bus, steel, ship, office, finance, shop, cleaners, photo
processing, education, local government, post, telecommunications,
car and many other workers fought against the Tory attacks on jobs,
conditions and democracy and for the future of trade unionism itself.
GLATUC was involved in all struggles and organised support out in the
In the 1990s we supported
key disputes like the Merseyside dockers, the Magnet lockout and the
PriceCheck recognition campaign and, more recently, Ford Dagenham,
SkyChef Heathrow, London's tube, the National Health Service and the
Post Office. We also sponsored the Campaign for a People's London,
pressing for the creation of a democratic Greater London Authority,
and Greater London Against Maastricht, which raises the dangers of
monetary and political union in Western Europe. We work closely with
the transport unions in building the case for publicly-owned rail,
tube, bus and air traffic control in London.
GLATUC has been proud to
be a leading organisation in the continuation of the London May Day
March on May 1st each year, as a mark of its commitment to genuine
international trade union solidarity and building unity within the
working class movement in London. It took a leading role against the
military coup in Chile and in support of workers in Ireland and is
active in maintaining rank-and-file relations between workers across
Today we are building trade
union organisation, supporting today's struggles and forming ties with
representatives of London's many communities.