GMB and Labour

Team_GMB_Labour.jpgGMB, Labour and our shared history

GMB was there, with the Labour Party, from the very beginning. Politics is in its DNA.

The union helped to create the party, in 1893, and sought – like no other union at that time – to entwine a political, and avowedly Socialist agenda, with the industrial. The union understood that working people needed a party of their own to represent their own interests, and to fight their own corner.

Growing from a handful of council seats, the union went on to see its early leaders (such as Will Thorne in West Ham, Jack Jones in Silvertown, Pete Curran in Jarrow and Charles Dukes in Warrington) elected to Parliament, as part of a clear and coherent strategy, that aimed to wrest political power away from the few and ensure that it would help the many.

GMB provided the Labour Party with one of its leaders, J.R. Clynes, and with Margaret Bondfield; the first woman cabinet minister in British history. The effects were immediate and electrifying.  

As Pete Curran explained, in 1909, “If you had no Labour Party … you would have had no Old Age Pension scheme”. Action to secure the 8 Hour Day, provision of school meals at the public expense and free secondary education for all, quickly followed.

Immediately after the great election victory, in 1945, Will Thorne confided that what mattered above all was the creation of the Welfare State, so that “the children get their chance”.  

The NHS stands today as proud testament to his achievements, and those of hundreds of thousands of other loyal trade unionists who believed in a better tomorrow.   

How to get involved

We want to see GMB values at the heart of the Labour Party. Thousands of GMB members across the country are Labour Party members too - you can join them at a special trade union rate by clicking here
If you're already a Party member but would like to get more involved, click here to join our Activist Network. 
If you are a GMB Rep and would like to gain hands on experience of how politics in Westminster/constituency offices work, take a look at our Harry Harpham Parliamentary Programme

Head over to our Standing for Office page to find out more about representing your community in local government or even Westminster. 



The best way to make sure the Labour Party reflects the needs and wants of working people is to join and have your say. Thousands of GMB members are also members of the Labour Party – will you join them?

Contact GMB

GMB National Office
22 Stephenson Way

020 7391 6700