Friday April 19, 2019
For the road ahead

Royal Mail issues special Commemorative Sheet to mark the 150th anniversary of the Trades Union Congress


Royal Mail today launched a Commemorative Sheet to mark the 150th anniversary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Founded in 1868, the TUC is the world's oldest, national independent trade union organisation.

The first TUC meeting was held when the Manchester and Salford Trades Council convened the founding meeting in the Manchester Mechanics' Institute.

Its original aims were to win a shorter working day, training and free education for all, and - at a time when most working-class people were denied a voice - representation in Parliament.

The Commemorative Sheet features 10 existing 1st Class Seal stamps alongside images that depict pivotal moments in the TUC's 150-year history.

These key events include the 1888 strike by women from the Bryant & May match factory in London in protest at poor working conditions. Their demands were met three weeks later. The Equal Pay Campaign of 1968 saw female workers at Ford car plants in Dagenham strike to demand the lower ‘women's rate' of pay be abolished. It was, and their efforts went on to inspire similar protests around the country. 

The sheet also includes an illustrated folder telling the story of the TUC, its forerunners and its evolution to the present day organisation that represents 5.5 million workers across the UK.

TUC General Secretary, Frances O'Grady said: "The commemorative sheet is a wonderful way to mark the TUC's big anniversary, and we are honoured that working people have been recognised in this way. The pack is full of inspiring stories about people who made Britain better for working people over the last 150 years. 

"It's a reminder too that trade unionists have come from many different occupations and backgrounds. As the world of work changes, trade unions are needed more than ever to make sure every job is a good job and every working person gets the respect they deserve."

The stamp sheet is on sale now priced at £15.95 and available at



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