What and Who are the ISU?

The ISU were formed in 1981, as a breakaway from a Civil Service Union affiliated to the TUC with the radical left-wing politics of those times. Our people working in Borders found themselves in a Trade Union which passed Conference motions deploring the very existence of Border Controls. Our people paid subscriptions but received nothing in return. We needed representation that respected the jobs we did and the people who did them. And so the ISU was born.

Through the sterling efforts of our founders – and in particular the exceptional contributions of Peter Taylor as our inaugural General Secretary and Rolf Toolin as our first National Chairman – the ISU was established as an independent Trade Union. This was accomplished in the teeth of determined TUC hostility and opposition. We earned our reputation for unshakeable resolve early!

We were then and now remain a specialist Union for our specialist workforce – we are the leading subject experts on Borders. We have always been staunchly independent. We have no political affiliation. The ISU have never and will never run a political fund to bankroll a political party or agenda. But we do speak our minds to reflect the reality our members experience, so often distorted in coverage elsewhere. As we have always been, we are here only to serve the interests of our people.