The Amalgamated Society of House Decorators and Painters only had 4,548 members when it opened a Chelmsford branch in 1899. However, its 20 members soon became 50, and although it was nationally the smallest union to form the Trades Council, at this time it was the most active and had the largest trade union branch in Chelmsford.
The Amalgamated Society of Engineers was established in 1851 and a Chelmsford branch was opened in 1885. Two years later the branch had 51 members but in 1888 it was closed and did not reopen until 1895. Repeated attempts to crush the union hindered its development and by 1903 there were still only 29 members in the local branch. From then on the union advanced substantially until it became the largest in the area. Following a series of mergers the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU) was formed in 1992 along with the EEPTU - which had itself come about following a merger of the Electrical and Plumbers’ Unions.
In 2001 a merger between the AEEU and the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union (MSF) created Amicus, which was followed by mergers with Unifi and the GPMU. In 2007, Amicus merged with the Transport and General Workers’ Union to form Unite the union.
The Society of Operative Bricklayers was established in 1848. A Chelmsford branch was formed by 18 members in 1893 and by 1899, when the Council was formed, the union had 33,000 members.
The United Builders’ Labourers was formed in 1889; a Chelmsford branch was opened in 1893 and by 1899 the union had a national membership of 7,500.
The General Union of Operative Carpenters and Joiners was established in 1827 and a local branch was formed in 1892. When the Trades Council was established it had a national membership of 7,462. In 1921 the union combined with others within the building industry to form the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers; today it is part of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians with an ancestry that goes back 1814 when it existed illegally. Today, UCATT has a national membership of approximately 125,000.