When the TUC’s New Unionism Task Group was set up in 1996 it was given an ambitious remit and two years within which to fulfil it. Seven years on and the Task Group still exists – its remit just as ambitious, and only partly fulfilled. This chapter reviews the progress made by the Task Group, and more importantly the progress made by unions as a whole, toward meeting the challenge outlined by former TUC General Secretary John Monks in his address to TUC Congress in 1996:

What must we do? First, as Joe Hill said – ‘Organize’. The potential is there … there are five million workers in Britain who are not in unions but who would like a union to act on their behalf – five million ‘union wannabes’.