What We Do

From living wages to safety at work, the trade union movement has been the most successful anti-poverty force in history, and has won the basic rights that most of us take for granted. Yet today we face the challenge of developing the next generation of trade unionists that will sustain the movement long in the 21st Century and beyond.

Union Towns is a worker-led, community-powered movement to raise the profile of trade unionism in the industries that increasingly dominate our towns and cities. To build the next generation of trade unionists, we run projects in these sectors, supporting workers new to the trade union movement to come together to take collective action.

Workers are best placed to build trade unions. They just need support

Union Towns has a small team of field organisers that engage, train and develop worker-leaders build their unions. Our supporters enable us to do this essential work - from providing vital funding, right through to working as volunteer workplace canvassers.

Union Towns is a Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)-led initiative, supported by the wider trade union movement, including Trades Councils, trade union branches and individual supporters across the country.

The Roots of Union Towns

Union Towns is a plan to build on a model pioneered by our pilot initiative Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise (SNAP).

Recognising that the mainstream trade union movement was bypassing workers in new industries, Sheffield Trades Council and the local community joined forces with the BFAWU with a plan to increase organising activity in the sectors of the new economy where trade unionism is often absent. 

In a short time, SNAP proved that, through an innovative approach to organising, we can adapt to the changing nature of work to ensure a future for trade unionism. Now is the time to take this model nationwide.

Next: The Union Towns Model >>