Ranking Shows Perception of Increasing Union Political Influence

Unions21 logoA feature published in the Telegraph listing “the 100 most powerful figures on the left” includes six trade union leaders. Five out of the six have increased in their influence over the last year, according to the article.


The Unite leader Len McCluskey is the highest ranking trade unionist in fourth place overall, the commentary drawing attention to the Labour-union link.

Next is Frances O’Grady at 18, who will become General Secretary of the TUC when Brendan Barber steps down at the end of the year. The commentary mentions her election, unopposed, with the support of 32 out of the 54 affiliated unions, showing how highly regarded she is by the Trade Union movement.


The remaining leaders are Paul Kenny (31), Dave Prentis (36), Mark Serwotka (44) and Bob Crow (99).


Five in six of the leaders have each gained influence over the past year, with Len (+23), Paul (+11) and Mark (+10) the leaders at climbing the rankings, whilst Frances is on the list for the first time.


What definition of political power the compilers of the list used is not clear, and the number of bloggers, broadcasters and political staffers in the list reflects a bias towards ‘profile in the media’ or ‘position held’ rather than proven influence on policy or to deploy resources.


That said – undoubtedly the union leaders chosen are some of the most influential figures within the movement, and the assessment that they are growing in political power is noteworthy.














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