What the Union does

The Communication Workers Union is one of the top ten trades unions by size in the UK and is the biggest union for the communications industry with approximately 185,000 members

The union can trace it roots a long way back in time and has many decades of experience operating in the communications field

We represent workers in in a wide selection of occupations and sectors of the UK economy. These include:

  • Postal, courier and logistics
  • Telecoms and engineering
  • Administration, security, facilities and maintenance
  • Banking and financial services
  • Call centres and business process outsourcing
  • Retail and sales
  • Technology and new media

You will find CWU members employed in many companies, large and small, across all parts of the UK

Some examples are:

  • British Telecom/Openreach
  • EE
  • Virgin Media O2
  • Capita
  • Santander
  • ISS
  • CBRE
  • Royal Mail/Parcelforce
  • DPD
  • Wincanton
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Accenture
  • Teleperformance

{NB – this list is not exhaustive}

The CWU’s statement of values:

  • To provide first class collective and individual representation for all CWU members;
  • To achieve security of employment for all members;
  • To offer individual membership services of the highest quality;
  • To expand trade union membership throughout the communications industry;
  • To promote, by industrial and political means, the success of the industries in which our members work;
  • To campaign against all forms of discrimination
  • To further these objectives by promoting the influence of the union throughout the national and international community.

CWU members can access a broad range of legal services via our partnership with Unionline.

Unionline is unique in that it is wholly owned by unions and as such it operates on a not for profit basis which means that UnionLine focuses on providing the best possible service and value to members, rather than focusing on profit. The aim is to provide the first line of support to members for any legal need.

The CWU has a small but dedicated team of staff at our headquarters in London who ensure the smooth running of the union’s activity, and where necessary, can be called upon to provide expert advice and guidance.

We also offer our members extra benefits, via selected trusted partners, such as discounted gym membership, cheap cinema tickets, holiday packages and many more.

We are a campaigning union and work hard to get our voice – YOUR voice – heard on a variety of subjects in the workplace, such as fair pay, pensions, fair terms & conditions, health & safety and equal opportunities.

We also campaign in relevant areas of the economy, industry, society and politics.

The CWU is affiliated to both the Trades Union Congress and the UNI global Union.

Our strength comes from working and campaigning together. Please join us if you haven’t already or have a look through our campaigns to find out more about the work we do to support our members.

Remember ‘You are the Union’!

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.

The CWU has over one hundred Branches located across the length and breath of the UK.

Every Branch has a dedicated team of officers that are elected from among the membership of that Branch

We especially encourage young workers, female workers and other under-represented groups to become active in the union

But whatever level of activity appeals to you, every Branch is strengthened by having every colleague and workmate within the union

Branches hold regular meetings to discuss relevant matters and we do encourage participation in these meetings if at all possible

Each branch elects delegates to, and determines policies to be debated at, the Annual Conference which in turn 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 two years by individual postal ballot. Its division into five constituencies ensures that all industrial and occupational backgrounds have a voice.

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 an equality structure consisting of NEC Equality Leads, Regional Equality Leads and various equality Branch positions made up of ordinary Branch members.  These are to ensure that the diverse needs of our membership are brought to the attention of the Executive.