ABSTRACT

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a mighty influence in the land. TUC bosses are a familiar sight going in and out of Downing Street and Whitehall departments, while Labour ministers are frequent visitors to Congress House, TUC headquarters in London’s Great Russell Street, not far from the British Museum. The interesting experiment that took the TUC right into the fray of the industrial relations system proved short-lived. Under threat, the TUC had displayed a cohesion and sense of collective self-discipline that it usually finds hard to match in taking any positive initiative. TUC business is administered by a committee system, made up of General Council members and serviced by the full-time secretariat. The TUC economic policy alternatives are usually left-of-centre with a sharp cutting edge, but they are meant to be an agenda for serious negotiation, not a public relations exercise.