Given below is a list of British indpendent unions; the names of those that are members of the Trades Union Congress are given in bold.They range in size from UNISON with its 1.2 million members to the Sheffield Wool Shear Workers Union with a mere fifteen.

A note on the naming of Trade Unions

In each case the full name of the union has been given followed by their commonly accepted acronym where applicable, since Trade Unions, or British ones at least, normally have a full descriptive name such as the National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers but are more generally referred to by their intials, for example NUMAST. Some unions have taken this a step further and inisted that they should be known simply by their intitals, for example the GMB or the ISTC. The latter used to be known as the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation but has abandoned that, due to, I would imagine, the fact that there isn't much of an Iron and Steel trade left in the old UK.

There has also recently been a fashion for unions to engage in a bit of corporate rebranding, abandon the old descriptive names, and adopt a nice cuddly but, ultimately meaningless name such as UNISON, Accord or Connect.

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