Unite: basic facts and figures

Reporter’s Guide in association with Unite the Union

Unite was formed on 1 May 2007 by the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers Union (the T & G). It’s the UK’s biggest union with just under two million members.

• There’s an 18-month transitional period during which the union will be run as two sections – Amicus and the T & G.

• Unite has more than 500 salaried officers and 90,000 workplace reps.

• The average age of Unite members is 45. There is an active campaign to recruit young people to the union. Amicus and the T & G have recruited nearly 600,000 members since 2004 though almost as many have left, largely due to the decline in manufacturing. The fastest growing sectors are finance, healthcare, not-for-profit, transport and distribution.

• Membership of Unite costs £10 a year for student members. Typical members in full-time employment pay £120 a year.

• For most members, it’s the practical benefits that count; education and training programmes, free legal advice, and the knowledge that, like for like, unionised workplaces are six per cent better paid.

• Unite is the biggest political affiliate to the Labour Party; in fact, it’s the biggest political affiliate to any political party anywhere.

• Forget the old union stereotypes: Unite represents everyone from health visitors to faith workers (vicars and priests). The membership is middle Britain.

• Unite is the biggest donator of funds to the Labour party.

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