About us

We’re a specialist union for workers of trade unions, professional associations and others linked to the labour movement in the United Kingdom.

We're independent, campaigning, member-led.


We believe that our movement needs an independent voice to hold our employers to the same standards as we demand for our members.


We’ve campaigned for pension rights, inflation-proof pay rises, for recognition in union workplaces without an independent union. We don’t actively compete with other unions, we encourage “double carding” and will work with any union to deliver wins for our members.


We’re democratic where every voice counts. Equality and fairness is at the heart of our founding principles, including tackling institutional racism, gender equality and the right to self-identify.



Tracy Edwards

General Secretary

Chris Musgrave

National Executive

Andrew Woodman
Marianne Quick
Jon Benson
Helen Meldrum

Work for us

National Officer (Operations & Organising)

The National Officer (Operations & Organising) will provide strategic, operational and organising support to the General Secretary, overseeing the efficient management of daily operations, facilitating communication within the organisation, and ensuring alignment with the organisation's goals and objectives. The ideal candidate will have strong leadership skills, excellent organising experience and a commitment to advancing the founding principles and core values of the Union Workers’ Union.

Closing date: Monday 29 July, 4pm



2023 membership growth

Executive committee

£ +

Member compensation won

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the UWU start?

The union was founded in September 2019 by 3 union officials from different unions. The union was listed with the Certification Officer in March 2020. We are a bona fide trade union committed to advancing our members’ interests.

Why is the UWU necessary?

All workers are entitled to union support and via the union of their choice. In recent years there have been a number of successful union start-ups who offer a fresh and independent approach to trade unionism in the 21st century. Many unions require their staff to be members of the employing union, the UWU was initially created to offer these workers an independent choice. 

Aren’t you just poaching other union’s members?

The UWU has a strict non-poaching policy. Unlike other unions, we actively encourage double carding and believe there are significant benefits to being a member of more than one union. 

The UWU isn’t recognised in my workplace, what’s the point in joining?

Recognition facilitates collective bargaining and this is a key function of a trade union. The UWU is actively seeking joint recognition in all union workplaces but even without recognition the UWU can represent members in individual and collective casework, enter into disputes and engage the employing and recognised unions on matters of interest to our membership. Members can also access our unrivalled training and networking opportunities. 

Are you affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) or the Labour Party?

At the present time, we are not affiliated to either the TUC or the Labour Party. Like most unions, we have democratic processes to determine policy and affiliation. Any UWU member is able to raise a motion for affiliation but so far, members priority has been on industrial issues.

What is your involvement with other political parties?

The UWU is open to working with any political party that is pro-union and shares our values on equality, social justice and advancing workers’ rights. We have informal dialogue with a number of political parties at a local and national level.

You’re the union for union workers, which union do your staff belong to?

As a new employer our priority is to recognise a staff union as soon as possible. However in true trade union tradition, the bulk of our work continues to be provided through the time and talent of our members on a voluntary basis.

What’s at the heart of UWU’s learning offer?

Building power and sharing skills. Our training is written by senior and experienced trade union workers. Our aim is to provide the gold standard of trade union training completely free to all our members, regardless of status.

I’ve joined, what support will I get with my workplace issues?

The UWU will support you with individual and collective workplace issues. As a listed union we are permitted to accompany members’ under the statutory right of accompaniment. We have a network of experienced regional officers, some of whom are retired who will support you to the conclusion of the employer’s internal processes. We also have a panel of three top legal firms and subject to a full merits assessment we will provide representation during early collocation and employment tribunal stages.

Isn’t there already a union for union workers?

There are a number of unions that take union workers into membership. These unions aren’t truly independent as the UWU is; free from the influences of general secretaries and the usual politics. We are the only union for union workers that is genuinely independent, campaigning and member-led.

Doesn’t the UWU undermine unions and damage the trade union movement?

Union workers have the same rights to fair treatment and decent terms and conditions as any other worker. In recent years hard-fought-for terms and conditions of union workers have been under threat. The UWU will work collaboratively with any union employer or sister union to protect and advance union workers’ conditions but will robustly challenge any employer seeking to engage in bad employment practice and/or a race to the bottom.

What are the benefits of double carding?

Every union has strengths and weaknesses. Unions have different internal and external politics and priorities on which they campaign. No union is a perfect fit for its members. This is why most UWU members have memberships of other unions in addition to their UWU membership.

What does the UWU stand for?

The union has a variety of changing and evolving campaigns. Our founding campaigns provide an insight into the values of our union. Our founding campaigns are; ‘Safe Spaces for Women Workers’, ‘End Institutional Racism’ ‘No to Transphobia’ and ‘Protect Pay and Pensions’.

How does UWU make decisions?

We are committed to direct democracy. Each member gets an equal voice and ability to affect change. Our members meet monthly online to debate motions which are put to all members via secure online ballot.

What is the union’s position on self-organisation?

Equality is the cornerstone of the trade union movement but unfortunately many trade union employers fall short of the standards they set for their employers. The UWU provides cross union fora organised along protected characteristic lines as safe spaces for members to self organise and build power.

What’s the point of associate membership?

Many union reps have career ambitions to take up a paid role in a trade union. There isn’t a clear or an easy route into paid union roles but our associate membership offers workers not directly employed by a trade union access to our training and networking opportunities.

Is UWU training available externally?

Yes. We have worked with a number of union and non-union organisations to provide training. There is a cost to this and this varies depending on the individual request. Please email us to discuss further.

How can I help the UWU?

There are many and varied ways to help. You can join the union and get active in your workplace. The most important support you can provide is to recruit for us but we recognise contribution comes in all shapes and sizes. If you would like to help build a strong independent union, contact us for a discussion on our current projects.