Shelly Asquith: 10 Christmas gifts for trade union members

A look at the weird and wonderful world of trade union merchandise has been a long time coming. I am continually intrigued by some of the random items Labour’s affiliates emblazon with their logos. Who curates the online stores? Who buys the tat? And what better time to take a look than in the run up to Christmas? Surely many a LabourList reader is just itching to get their mitts on these stocking fillers… I did some browsing so you don’t have to, and these were my favourites.

  1. For the Prosecco socialist

Comrades can pop a cork in style with a special ASLEF wine glass, at £10 each. Or, for the beer drinkers, the TUC has its own Brigadista Ale. Sláinte!

  1. For the chef

Know anyone who’s a bit of a kitchen klutz? Here’s hoping you’ll never forget to leave an oiled pan on the hob again with an FBU-branded tea towel. £4.50

  1. For the sweet tooth

“Did she just shake her tic-tacs at me?” has a new meaning on GMB recruitment stalls across the lands, with these black and orange ‘atomz’

  1. For the winter picket

CWU are on to a marketing miracle with their millennial pink logo, and have a shop full of magenta goodies to match. I’m particularly fond of the two-tone bobble hat. And at this price, it’s a steal. £3.95

  1. For the beauty-conscious

This Cocoa Butter and Coconut Oil lip balm is a bargain and the cheapest item on our list. To stave off chapped lips, or get you ready for the mistletoe. 83p

  1. For the new driver

Know someone who recently passed their driving test? Forget the furry dice – this FBU air freshner could be just what they need! Or, if they’re like me and their new year’s resolution for 2019 is, yet again, to learn to drive, this could be that much-needed motivation. £2

  1. For the dressed-to-impress

If you’ve got a friend who you think could rock the cabin crew-cum-mod look, ASLEF are offering a rather nice striped cravat. It’s one of those versatile items that could be worn as a headscarf, tied to a handbag, or even as a blindfold… £10

  1. For the phone addict

Unite’s power bank allows you to charge two devices at a time, and has suction pads that attach it to your phone as you go. Crucial for conference season. £19.90

  1. For the forward-planner

Unite has also produced these 2019 wall calendars, with proceeds going towards the Durham Miners’ Association (which organises the Durham Miners’ Gala each year, Europe’s largest trade union gathering). They feature a range of historic images from the Gala. £5

  1. For the activist

Finally, I had to include these t-shirts, both well worth buying to support two very important causes. All proceeds for the £10 number from FBU go to the Justice4Grenfell campaign, while Fast Food Rights have created one for £15 to support the ongoing McStrike campaign.

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