Skip to content
Catalogue code: AV049
In June 2018 the TUC celebrates its 150th Anniversary and to mark the occasion, Royal Mail have produced a Special Commemorative sheet.
The first TUC meeting was held in 1868 when the Manchester and Salford Trades Council convened the founding meeting in the Manchester Mechanics' Institute. The fact that the TUC was formed by Northern Trades Councils was not coincidental. One of the issues which prompted this initiative was the perception that the London Trades Council which was formed in 1860 was taking a dominant role in speaking for the Trade Union Movement as a whole.
In 1897 the Congress took the decision to form a more centralised trade union structure that would enable a more militant approach to be taken to fighting the employer and even achieving the socialist transformation of society. The result was the General Federation of Trade Unions which was formed in 1899.
For some years it was unclear which body (the GFTU or the TUC) would emerge as the national trade union centre for the UK and for a while both were recognised as such by different fraternal organisations in other countries. However, it was soon agreed amongst the major unions that the TUC should take the leading role and that this would be the central body of the organised Labour Movement in the UK.