British Trade Union Congress BTUC

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

British Trade Union Congress (BTUC)


the leading body of the British trade union movement. Formed in 1868 at a congress of trade unions in Manchester.

The activities of the British Trade Union Congress center around the reformist “class harmony” idea of cooperation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, based on minor concessions from the ruling classes in Great Britain. The policies of the BTUC are determined chiefly by the right-wing leaders of the largest trade unions—the transport and unskilled workers, machine builders, workers in the commerce sector and the distribution network, railroad men, miners, and many others. The executive body of the BTUC is the General Council (Parliamentary Committee from 1869 to 1921), which is elected at the annual BTUC congresses. During the 1960’s there was an increase in the number of left-wing BTUC representatives on the General Council. BTUC membership was 118,000 in 1868, 2.2 million (207 trade unions) in 1913, 6.5 million (215 trade unions) in 1920, 3.9 million (196 trade unions) in 1928, 8.1 million (183 trade unions) in 1960, and approximately 9 million (169 trade unions) in 1969. The BTUC is closely allied with the Labour Party in both ideology and organization. In 1945 the BTUC became a member of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), but in 1949 the BTUC and the American trade unions broke away from the WFTU and formed their own so-called International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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