Unions' white-collar future

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The Independent Online
The typical trade unionist is likely to be a middle-aged white collar worker, rather than a "cloth-capped, beer-swilling factory worker", according to TUC analysis of official figures.

In its report Trade Unionists Today, the TUC says more than four out of ten union members are managers, professionals and "associate professionals" such as social workers and nurses. Only around one in 10 are plant and machine operatives.

The great geographical divide however lives on. More than four in 10 people in the North of England and Wales are union members, compared with only two out of 10 in the South-east (excluding London).

The report shows that just under a third of all employees - 6.9 million - are union members. Some 5.8 million work full time with just 1.1 million part-timers. Just under half are women.

John Monks, TUC general secretary, said unions needed to recruit more part-time workers, young people and women, especially in smaller and private firms. Barrie Clement