CLWTC covers the central London area – basically within the Corporation of London area (the Square Mile) and the borough/city of Westminster.



Its origins lie in Trades Councils covering Paddington, Marylebone and Victoria which were brought together in 1953.

It has seen many dramatic changes in that time. The many vibrant areas of manufacturing declined until the last real manufacturing company – Palmer Aero - closed its factory near Church Street, off the Edgware Road in the mid-80s. Also at that time there was the massive print dispute in Fleet Street as the employers, led by Murdoch, sought to move jobs out of the area. 20 years on he has done it again abandoning Fortress Wapping where he moved his scab operation.

There have been tens of thousands of jobs gone from the City in insurance and finance as admin, processing and other clerical jobs moved out of London, initially to places around the country and more recently to Asia. Civil service jobs have been re-located out of Central London or made redundant. Important transport centres like Victoria Bus Garage have gone.

The Trades Council has been at the front of many battles over the years on local and wider issues. Campaigns for the NHS and local hospitals; for cleaners and other service staffs, many immigrant workers; in the great miners strikes and the print workers strikes; civil service campaigns; for fire brigade workers and for fire stations in the area; dockers disputes; pension disputes; education battles etc etc.

We have concentrations of many sectors – theatres, music and entertainment; film and TV; restaurants and hotels; financial services; fashion; education at all levels; shops and stores; central government – not seen anywhere else. We have a massive service sector. Transport plays a key role. All this is reflected in the work of the Trades Council.

Another difference is that most people who work in the area do not live there. Commuting and travel is a central theme. People can travel from across London, out into the Home Counties and beyond. We have workers coming from Peterborough, Eastbourne, Oxford. Some come further – only being able to afford housing in South Wales or Yorkshire and travelling in to work for the week before returning to their home.

We have workers from all over the world employed in the area with concentrations of Chinese, Latin American, African, other Asian and East European communities. We have employers who continue to exploit such workers and give them worse pay and conditions.

The area is also one of extremes - the towers and wealth of the City, the opulent areas like Mayfair, St James' and Belgravia have always co-existed with Peabody buildings, people sleeping on streets, poverty and exploitation. Many people do not realise Westminster covers up the Harrow Road to West Kilburn or forget the Millbank estates. From Burlington Arcade and Savile Row to Edgware Road and Church Street, Berwick Street Market to Leadenhall, Paddington to Blackfriars, Smithfield to Downing Street - we cover them all.

© 2019 contact: 07818 421 327 email: [email protected] address: CLWTC, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, CRO 1BD