Trade Union Forum

H&P's Trade Union Forum meets several times a year, bringing together trade unionists with professional historians and other interested groups. It considers trade union issues against their historical background, exploring different perspectives on the past and the present in order to suggest new lines of policy for the future.

Its regular meetings have covered such themes as: political funding and relations with the main political parties; attitudes towards the European Union; democracy in the workplace; and apprenticeship and training. It has also organised higher-profile events to mark the anniversaries of pivotal moments, such as the 1986 Wapping dispute in the printing industry, and the 1984 miners’ strike. When the opportunity presents itself, the Forum works in partnership with other organizations, including a session at the Unions 21 annual conference and a fringe event at the Trades Union Congress.

We are always keen to hear from potential participants, co-organizers and sponsors. If you or your organization would like to be involved, please contact one of the Management Committee.


Flexible work and its consequences: historical perspectives

Trade Union Forum

On 6 April Noel Whiteside, Professor of Comparative Public Policy at the University of Warwick and Sally Brett, Head of Equality, Inclusion and Culture at the British Medical Association discussed flexible working now and in the past.

Read More

Workers in the Boardroom

Trade Union Forum

During her bid for the Tory leadership in July 2016, Theresa May called for employee representation on company boards. The idea was quietly shelved but remains existing practice at some firms - an expert panel gathered to discuss the history and practice of the idea.

Read More

How Europe Won Over the British Left

H&P's Trade Union Forum chair John Edmonds spoke to Claire Bowes for BBC Witness about early Euroscepticism on the left and the impact of EC President Jacques Delors' speech to the Trade Union Congress in September 1988. 

Read More

The Future of Trade Unions

Dave Ward, General Secretary of the Communication Worker’s Union, Dr. Alastair Reid, Life Fellow, Girton College, Cambridge & author of United We Stand: A History of Britain's Trade Unions and Siobhan Endean, National Officer for Equalities at Unite the Union discussed the future of Trade Unions on 3 September at UNITE headquarters.

Read More

Trade Unions and the European Union

Christopher Knowles & Billy Davis

Ahead of the UK’s referendum on continued membership of the European Union, the Trade Union Forum held an event to explore the roles that Trade Unions have had in shaping the public debate on EU policies, reflect upon the roles the Unions played in the 1975 referendum, and offer suggestions for Trade Union engagement in the ongoing debate. 

Read More

Page 1 of 5 pages

About Us


With long-established offices in King's College London and the University of Cambridge, H&P is an expanding Partnership currently supported by 6 Higher Education Institutes: King’s College London, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, The University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds, and The University of Sheffield.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

Read More