A National Perspective
The typical trade unionist today in the UK is a woman, more than 35 years old, and working in the public sector. More specifically, the DTI figures for 2005 show that 29.9% of women are in trade unions as compared to 28.2% of men. One third of employees aged 35 and over are trade unionists, as compared with only a quarter of those ages 25 to 34. In the public sector 58.6% are in trade unions, as compared to only 17.2% in the private sector.
The last statistic gives us a good idea of where to look to find the greater part of the city's trade unionists: in the council's various departments, in the hospitals, the Department for Work & Pensions, Law Courts, etc.
The city's biggest private sector employer, American Express, has successfully resisted trade union recognition since its arrival in the 1970s.
What about the former public utilities: power, water, railways, and so forth? These economic sectors retain a strong trade union presense but membership is in decline.