CWU and the Labour Party

The Labour Party was founded by trade unions to give the movement a voice in parliament and the CWU has been affiliated to it since the union was formed.

The CWU’s affiliation to Labour means that the union as a whole, and our members as individuals, have certain rights within the party.

The union itself has a role in Labour’s policy making process and a share of the votes at Labour Party Conference which we put motions to on our key campaign issues every year. We also currently have a representative on the Labour NEC (Andy Kerr, DGS for Telecoms and Financial Services).

CWU members who pay the political levy and sign up to be affiliated supporters to the party can:

  • vote in Labour leadership elections
  • attend local Constituency Party meetings
  • attend Labour Conference
  • become full members of the Labour Party at a reduced ‘trade unionist’ rate

The rights the union has in the Labour Party are important. They give the union and CWU members the opportunity to have a political voice. Labour’s rulebook describes it as a democratic socialist party – we need such a party in the UK.

We therefore encourage CWU members to get involved in and influence the party to make sure it reflects their priorities and acts as a voice for the trade union movement. CWU branches are also encouraged to affiliate to the Labour Party in their constituencies to develop local links to make members’ voices heard.

There are 14 trade unions that are affiliated to Labour and cross-union political work and campaigns among this group are co-ordinated through TULO (the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation). There are regional TULO organisations across the country which CWU officials should engage with. For more information about TULO in your area please contact your Regional Secretary.

If you have not already done so and want to sign up as an affiliated supporter please contact

If you want to join the Labour Party as a full member at the reduced trade union rate please go to and select the trade union box at the bottom of the page.