About the GFTU

The GFTU adds value and support to specialist unions and specialist sections of larger general unions.

The General Federation of Trade Unions is a friendly democratic organisation responsive to the needs of affiliated Trade Unions. There is no question or issue too large or small that an affiliate cannot refer to us. We seek to add value to specialist trade unions and sections of unions at various levels. With affiliation fees of less than £1 per annum, we believe we offer exceptional value.
Our annual programme gives an indication of the range of support we provide. From developing professional support for General Secretaries, to offering an exceptional programme of trade union management training, to youth and arts festivals, to initial reps training, to detailed specialist research and highly customised support for individual unions, we have a flexible and expert approach.

Employment Law Matters

  • Do you have people relying on you to help them with first class support?
  • Do you sometimes struggle to find reliable on-line information easily?
  • Do you feel under pressure to ‘get the best outcome’ for your client?


Find out more in our Services Section


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The GFTU celebrates its 120th anniversary in 2019 and are proud of our past, we are as relevant to the modern Trade Union movement as we were when we were founded. There is a fascinating history of the 120 years so far on the website, click here to read it.

Find out more of what GFTU offers.

Write to us at:

GFTU Headquarters

GFTU National Office,
86 Wood Lane, Quorn,
Loughborough LE12 8DB

General Enquiries:
Ian Richards

GFTU Operations Manager

T: 01509 410867
E: ianr@gftu.org.uk

Claire Ryan
PA to the General Secretary

T: 01509 410 974
E: claire@gftu.org.uk

Educational Enquiries:
Mark Robinson
Education Administrator

T: 01509 410978

E: markr@gftu.org.uk

Financial Enquiries:
Preeti Doshi
Head of Finance

T: 01509 410 856

E: preeti@gftu.org.uk

Marketing Enquiries:
Georgia Wilkinson

E: georgiaw@gftu.org.uk

There are many parts to the GFTU including:

The Executive Committee

Sub committees

Pensions Trust

Educational Trust

Trading Company Directors


You can read more about GFTU's structure here.

In small organisations there are occasions when people need support or inspiration and if they work in isolation, without a peer group or wider professional networks it can be stressful.

Find out how the GFTU has addressed this challenge.

There are often vacancies for people who are interested working with us, so it is worth keeping an eye on these pages, as we regularly post opportunities at the GFTU, at Quorn Grange Hotel, with our Affiliated Unions or partner organisations.

A notification of each new advertisement will be sent immediately to the GFTU’s Facebook and Twitter pages, so it is worth following us to get updates.

We strive to be an outstanding employer, occasionally have vacancies for Apprentices.

If you are looking for work experience, there might be a possibility of us creating an opportunity to work alongside us, so please send an e-mail request to Ian Richards, who has personnel responsibilities across the organisation, and let us know what you would ideally like to achieve. We cannot guarantee anything, but will always consider requests.

We only accept applications on a GFTU application form. We prefer not to accept speculative CV’s that occasionally get dropped off at reception. Whenever we advertise a vacancy we make sure all of the paperwork is attached.

If you would like to post a vacancy on the GFTU’s situations vacant section it is offered free of charge to trade union and campaign organisations. However, if advertisers would like to make a donation to the GFTU Education Trust for using this service, it would be greatly appreciated.

Please send your proposed advertisement to georgiaw@gftu.org.uk

The GFTU reserves the right not to run an advertisement if it in anyway conflicts with its policies and interests.

The GFTU was originally the international voice of the British trade union movement and it has maintained this tradition of international solidarity with workers in other countries.

... Read More

You can read more on the history of the GFTU here.

Northern College

The GFTU's informal and formal partnership arrangements go far and wide at home and overseas.

We strongly support a range of adult education organisations.

Celebrating GFTU's 120 Years Supporting the Labour Movement

GFTU 120th Anniversay Booklet Cover

Celebrating GFTU History in Parliament

Edda Nelson Speaking in Parliament

Photo credit: Ade Marsh Photography

Edda Nicolson addressed a meeting in Parliament about the history of the GFTU.

Read the full text of her speech

The GFTU and its Place in Labour History

Dr Alice Prochaska delivered a speech for the parliamentary reception following the BGCM, 20th May 2019.

The Napo probation staffs union has referred to it as “a sort of TUC for smaller, specialist unions”. Yet while the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) did indeed become the champion of smaller and more specialist trade unions in the middle of the 20th century, these days, unions of any size, whether TUC-affiliated or not, are eligible to apply for GFTU membership.

Read the full article from Labour Research here

Dr Alice ProchaskaHistorian Dr Alice Prochaska, former principal of Somerville College Oxford and a trustee of the GFTU Educational Trust, wrote the first history of the GFTU to 1980. At a reception to mark the anniversary, she described how the TUC voted it into existence in 1899.

Read the full speech here