The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is the biggest union for the communications industry in the UK with 204,500 members. It was formed in January 1995 when the Union of Communication Workers joined forces with the National Communications Union.
CWU members work in Royal Mail, the Post Office, BT. O2 and other telecommunication companies, cable TV, Accenture HR Services, financial services, and the Alliance & Leicester (now Santander). Our members' expertise includes engineering, computing, clerical, mechanical, driving, retail, financial and manual skills.
The union's values
The Communication Workers Union exists to protect, advance and serve the interests of its members throughout the communications industry. In pursuit of its aims the union will seek to:
- provide first class collective and individual representation for all CWU members;
- achieve security of employment for all members;
- offer individual membership services of the highest quality;
- expand trade union membership throughout the communications industry;
- promote, by industrial and political means, the success of the industries in which our members work;
- campaign against all forms of discrimination;
- further these objectives by promoting the influence of the union throughout the national and international community.
The structure of the union
The union's first duty and responsibility is to protect and promote the interests of its members in the workplace. Reflecting a model democratic structure, every CWU member belongs to one of the union's branches.
Each branch elects delegates to, and determines policies to be debated at, the Annual Conference which determines the policies of the union on both industrial and general issues. Between Conferences, the union's National Executive Council (NEC) is responsible for policy decisions. The NEC is elected every 2 years by individual postal ballot. Its division into five constituencies ensures that all industrial and occupational backgrounds have a voice. The constituencies are clerical, engineering, operator and ancillary, postal and postal technical services.
The NEC deals with all issues of a general nature, such as organisation, recruitment, finances and services. For occupational issues, it divides into two industrial executives, one for telecoms and financial services, and the other for postal issues.
The union has a number of advisory committees, mainly consisting of ordinary branch members. These are to ensure that the needs of women, ethnic minorities, retired members, young people, lesbians and gays and those with disabilities and special needs are brought to the attention of the executive.
The union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Wales TUC, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Labour Party, the Communications International and other organisations as determined by annual conference.
The union's national campaigns
The union's main campaigning priorities have been aimed at securing:
- Royal Mail secure in public hands, intent on developing Crown Post Office Counter services and affordable, reliable and universally priced mail and parcel delivery;
- universal access to the social and individual benefits of the most advanced information superhighway for the UK, which will give all in society the ability to benefit from our latest technology;
- a modern communications network which will guarantee a buoyant financial and commercial infrastructure for the UK.
Within these objectives, the union aims to ensure not only the provision of efficient, integrated and affordable communication services for the UK - but also safe, secure and well rewarded employment for all CWU members.