GMB is a campaigning trade union focused on protecting GMB members in their workplaces. GMB is a general union – which means that anyone can join us. GMB has over 630,000 members working in every part of the economy. GMB’s fundamental approach is that together we can achieve more than we can do on our own.
GMB have members in every part of the UK economy doing every type of job imaginable. GMB members are men and women, young and old or even retired, working full and part time, and are made up of a wide and diverse cross section of Britain’s society.
Every day of the year GMB offers protection at work and solves problems for GMB members. GMB provide back up, representation and advice on every issue related to members life at work.
Whether you’re looking for better pay, improved childcare, realistic work-life balance, a change to long working hours, the elimination of poor health and safety or simply a desire for respect from your employer; together our voices are much more powerful than one voice alone.
GMB has been in existence for over 12 decades and has grown to be one of Britain’s most powerful and forward looking forces for change. It is made up of a number of unions who have merged over the last 120 years to become GMB – Britain’s General Union.
The union began as the Gas Workers and General Union was formed in March 1889 in East London by one of the greatest pioneers of the Labour movement, Will Thorne.
Through peace and war, with and without help from Government, GMB has been winning for our members and protecting people at work. GMB is here for you – to protect you, to represent you and to make a better life for you.
A resolution was passed in favour of a gas workers’ union being formed, with the 8 hour day as one of its objects…Sunday morning March 31st 1889- a lovely sunny morning – was the birthday of the National Unionof Gas Workers and General Labourers.
Its first battle in spring 1889 ended with the birth of the 8 hour working day. This set the goal for all working people who until then toiled for 12 hours a day.
GMB as it is today is the result of mergers and amalgamations of unions throughout the last century but mainly in the last 30 years.
Founder Will Thorne was born in Birmingham in 1857. He lived in great poverty and began his working life in a brickworks at the age of 6. Asked why he had dedicated his life to the labour and trade union movement GMB founder Will Thorne explained, “There is a world of freedom, beauty and equality to gain, where everyone will have an opportunity to express the best that is in them for the benefit of all, making the world a place more to our heart’s desire and the better to dwell in.” These principles guide GMB today.