Trades Union Congress. Education and Social Affairs Department

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The Trades Union Congress is a voluntary association of trade unions which was formed in Manchester in 1868. It forms the largest pressure group in the United Kingdom and works to improve the rights and conditions of working people. In achieving its aims the TUC has played a role both in many Government organisations and in the political wing of the Labour movement. Such a history has resulted in its archives being a rich source for the study of the political, economic and social history of the United Kingdom in the twentieth century.

The TUC is governed by an annual Congress at which representatives of affiliated trade unions meet to determine policy and to elect the executive body of the organisation. Between 1869 and 1921, the executive work of the Congress was carried out by the Parliamentary Committee. In 1920, the Committee was composed of sixteen members who dealt with a relatively narrow range of labour affairs. Changes in society during the First World War led to a widening of the TUC's functions and consequently the formation of the General Council in 1921, which was composed of a representative sample of trade unionists. The General Council is assisted by a number of committees, including Finance and General Purposes, Disputes, Education, Organisation, Social Insurance, International, Economic and Production. These in turn are served by departments, the number and nature of which varies according to the needs and priorities of the time. The responsibility for the everyday work of the General Council lies with the General Secretary who is assisted by a Deputy General Secretary and one or two Assistant General Secretaries.

In the regions, the TUC is organised into Regional Councils which cover England and Wales. Trade union activity in Scotland and Northern Ireland is co-ordinated by the Scottish TUC and the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, both of which are separate organisations with close working relationships with the TUC. At a local level branches of affiliated trade unions unite to form trades councils.

Reference: Ross M. Martin, TUC: The growth of a pressure group, 1868-1976 (Oxford, 1980).

From the guide to the Papers of the Trades Union Congress, 1920-1987, (Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library)

George Woodcock (1904-1979) was born at Bamber Bridge, Lancashire and was the son of a cotton weaver. When he was twelve he started spending half his time working in a cotton mill and the other half going to school and by the age of 13 he was working at the mill full-time. His original ambition was to be a professional footballer for Preston North End but serious illness ruled this out. He won a TUC scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford in 1929, moving to New College, Oxford in 1931 where he earned a first in philosophy, politics and economics. He joined the TUC in 1936 as head of the research and economic department, being recruited by the General Secretary Walter Citrine. He was Assistant General Secretary, 1947-1960 and General Secretary, 1960-1969 taking over from Vincent Tewson. In 1967 he was made a member of the Privy Council and declined a peerage in 1970. He was a member of various commissions including the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations (the Donovan Commission) and the Commission on Legal Procedures to deal with Terrorist Activities in Northern Ireland (Diplock Commission). Woodcock was also chairman of the Commission on Industrial Relations, 1969-1971 resigning after the introduction of the Industrial Relations Act by the Heath government. Woodcock lived for many years in Epsom where his wife was a magistrate, councillor, alderman, and mayor.

Reference: Geoffrey Goodman, Woodcock, George (1904-1979)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/31854, accessed 23 Sept 2005]

From the guide to the A Catalogue of the Papers of George Woodcock, 1919-1978, (Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Benjamin Schlesinger papers, 1914-1923. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Joint Board of the Parliamentary Committee of the TUC, General Federation of Trade Unions and the Labour Party, 1908-1913 British Library of Political and Economic Science
referencedIn Papers of the Co-operative Commission 2000, Feb 1990-10 Jun 2001 (predominantly 2000-2001) National Co-operative Archive
referencedIn Bondfield, Margaret, 1873-1953. Margaret Grace Bondfield papers, 1854-1951, 1898-1951 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Trades Union Congress. Trades Union Congress. Committee Minutes and Papers, 1922-1953. Cornell University Library
referencedIn David Francis collection, 1960-1976 Swansea University. LIS Archives
referencedIn Howell, George (1833-1910), 1839-1912 Bishopsgate Institute
referencedIn CITRINE, Walter Mclennan, 1887-1983, 1st Baron Citrine, trade unionist, 1924-1954 British Library of Political and Economic Science
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Benjamin Schlesinger, President. Records, 1914-1923. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn [Trades Union Congress : pamphlet collection]. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
creatorOf Trades Union Congress. Pamphlets. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Papers of Arthur Creech Jones, [1904-1965] The Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House
referencedIn Bondfield, Margaret Grace, 1873-1953. Papers, 1854-1951, 1898-1951 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Papers of Clive Jenkins, 1934 - 1991 Modern Records Centre
referencedIn Papers of the Transport and General Workers' Union, 1862-1998 Modern Records Centre
referencedIn [Trades Union Congress : pamphlet collection] [microform]. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Morris Sigman, President. Records, 1923-1928. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Marjorie Nicholson Papers, 1934-1997 London Metropolitan University: Trades Union Congress Library Collections
referencedIn Ben Tillett/Ian Mackay Papers, 1887-1953 Modern Records Centre
creatorOf Trades Union Congress. Trades Union Congress. Pamphlets. Cornell University Library
referencedIn RISM Vertical Files, Bulk, 1960-2000, Bulk, 1960-2000 1900-2004 New York University. Archives
creatorOf Trades Union Congress. Trades Union Congress. Periodicals and Serials, 1918-1977. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Women's Collections 2, 1900- 2008 London Metropolitan University: Trades Union Congress Library Collections
referencedIn GENERAL STRIKE THE BRITISH WORKER OFFICIAL STRIKE NEWS BULLETIN, 1926 British Library of Political and Economic Science
referencedIn DELAY, David, fl 1960-1994, 1990 British Library of Political and Economic Science
referencedIn Trades Union Congress : International, Predominantly 1960-70, [Predominantly 1960-1970] Modern Records Centre
creatorOf Trades Union Congress. Archives of the Trades Union Congress. Part 1 - General Council Minutes, Sept. 1921-Sept. 1946 ; Part 2 - Pamphlets and Leaflets, 1887-1972. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Trades Union Congress, 1984-1987 Swansea University.
referencedIn Somerset Miners' Association Archive, 1883-1964 University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections
referencedIn Carruthers Collection, 1971-1985 Swansea University.
creatorOf Trades Union Congress. Trades Union Congress. The Mining Crisis, 1925-1926. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Papers of the Trades Union Congress, 1920-1987 Modern Records Centre
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Morris Sigman correspondence, 1923-1928. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Trades Union Congress, additional files, 1888-1987 [predominantly 1920-60] Modern Records Centre
referencedIn Women - Wages and Equal Pay, 1906 - 2008 London Metropolitan University: Trades Union Congress Library Collections
referencedIn TAWNEY RICHARD HENRY 1880-1962 PROFESSOR OF ECONOMIC HISTORY, 1926 British Library of Political and Economic Science
referencedIn GAS STOKERS STRIKE 1872, 1872 British Library of Political and Economic Science
creatorOf A Catalogue of the Papers of George Woodcock, 1919-1978 Modern Records Centre
referencedIn Women's Collections 1, 1874 - 2008 London Metropolitan University: Trades Union Congress Library Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Benjamin Schlesinger. person
associatedWith Bondfield, Margaret Grace, 1873-1953. person
associatedWith Citrine, Walter Mclennan, 1887-1983, 1st Baron Citrine, trade unionist person
associatedWith Delay, David, fl 1960-1994 person
associatedWith George Woodcock person
associatedWith Gorden S Carruthers person
associatedWith Great Britain Commission on Industrial Relations corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers' Associations corporateBody
associatedWith Howell, George, 1833-1910 person
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Jenkins, Clive person
associatedWith Joint Board of the Parliamentary Committee of the TUC, General Federation of Trade Unions and the Labour Party corporateBody
associatedWith Nicholson | Marjorie | 1914-1997 person
associatedWith Somerset Miners' Association corporateBody
associatedWith The Co-operative Commission 2000 corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress and British Broadcasting Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Disputes Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Economics Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Education Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Finance and General Purposes Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. General Council corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. International Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Organization Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Social Insurance Advisory Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Social Insurance and Industrial Welfare Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Trades Union Congress. Trades Councils Joint Consultative Committee corporateBody
associatedWith Transport and General Workers' Union corporateBody
associatedWith Woodcock George person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain
Subject
Strikes and lockouts Great Britain
Politics, Practical
Great Britain--Commerce
Industrial relations Great Britain
Coal miners--Labor unions
Arbitration, Industrial Great Britain
Social indicators
Publicity
Industry
Industrial relations
Capitalism Great Britain
Labor unions Great Britain
Collective bargaining Great Britain
Labor unions
Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining
Working class Great Britain
Trade associations Great Britain
Labor movement
Economics Great Britain
Labor laws and legislation Great Britain
Work environment Great Britain
Collective bargaining
Finance, Public--Great Britain
International labor activities
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

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