Booklet on GCHQ union ban available to download

GCHQ: The Return was commissioned to mark the 40th anniversary of the campaign to overturn the ban on trade unions in GCHQ.

A joint PCS/TUC march and rally took place on 27 January in Cheltenham to mark the 40th anniversary of the ban on trade union membership at GCHQ.

As well as commemorating the GCHQ workers' victory, thousands of trade unionists from across the UK came together to recommit the labour movement to defiant opposition to trade union restrictions, including minimum service levels.

Available now to download from PCS Knowledge, our booklet, which was jointly written by Hugh Lanning and journalist Richard Norton-Taylor, was specially commissioned by PCS to celebrate this historic campaign.

Hugh, who was PCS deputy general secretary until his retirement in May 2013, served as the trade union official responsible for GCHQ members at the time of the trade union ban and during the subsequent campaign to overturn it.

Richard is an award-winning former defence and security editor of the Guardian who covered the dispute for the same newspaper.

This publication offers a fresh account of the circumstances surrounding the ban, covers the campaign to overturn the ban from 1992 until the return of trade unions at GCHQ in 1997, and includes the campaign diary of Mike Grindley, the main spokesperson for the GCHQ campaign.

A fuller account of the union ban in 1984 and the subsequent campaign can be found in ‘GCHQ - A Conflict of Loyalties’, which was re-published last week as an e-book (epub) by Manifesto Press to coincide with this 40th anniversary of the ban.

To learn more about this historic episode in the history of the trade union movement, you can download the booklet from PCS Knowledge.

You can also read more about the GCHQ ban and campaign by looking at our timeline of how it started, what happened and when.