The Trades Union Congress is the British equivalent of the AFL-CIO and exists to provide a united voice for British Trades Unions, to lobby government and campaign on issues that it believes will benefit the working population of Britain and sometimes to arbitrate in inter union disputes. It has over seventy affiliated unions representing approximately 6.8 million members.
It was formed in 1868 in Manchester at a meeting of the leaders of thirty four local Trade Councils. In 1900 it was instrumental in the creation of the Labour Representation Committee which sought the election of members of parliament to represent the "Labour" interest. This became the Labour Party in 1906 and ever since the TUC has been very closely linked with the British Labour Party and until the coming of New Labour its main paymaster.