The work of trade unions is being celebrated in a series of special activities to mark the annual Heartunions week of action.

The awareness week, organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), aims to raise the profile of trade unions both online and in communities across the country. It also showcases the many benefits of union membership.

Highlights of the week-long celebration include an unsung heroes feature, which will see blogs and videos showcasing union representatives posted on the Heartunions website. Meanwhile, a ‘Big Workplace Meeting’ will be held on Thursday 9 February and hosted by Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC. The short event, to be broadcast live to union branches, will see O’Grady talk about the importance of unions in the workplace and the pivotal role of union reps while highlighting success stories from across the trade union movement.

Since its creation in 1921, Thompsons Solicitors has proudly stood shoulder-to-shoulder with trade unions both in the UK and in other parts of the world to protect the rights of workers, and campaign for improved safety standards and employment rights.

Early personal injury success stories include winning the first industrial disease case in the UK in 1956, bringing the first successful asbestos disease case to the House of Lords in 1972, and helping establish the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which has helped shape employee rights in Britain.

Thompsons only ever acts for employees and never for employers or insurance companies.

Thompsons’ dedicated employment rights team has also played a key role in landmark cases in all aspects of employment law at all levels, including at the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

Successes include winning cases which established equal pay for work of equal value, establishing that normal pay including bonuses and overtime should be paid when calculating holiday pay, and successfully winning more than £10million compensation for blacklisted Unite the Union workers.

Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This week is an important opportunity for unions to highlight UK consumers’ and workers’ rights, and show why their work is so important. We are proud to have stood with unions in any number of campaigns and staff and partners have taken part in multiple union delegations to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to Cuba and Colombia among others.

“During this Heartunions week we would urge anyone who hasn’t already joined a union to do so. Alongside other benefits, members of our partnered trade unions receive free legal advice and representation for injuries in and out of work and on employment issues from Thompsons. That support has proved invaluable to many members and their families, whose lives have been turned upside down by an unexpected accident, injury or problem at work.”