I've been a member of a union since 1977 most of which with the CWU and even spent many years actively helping the CWU as a representative. Recently, I needed the support in a case against my employer for disability discrimination which has gone to an Employment Tribunal. The local branch of the CWU and the Equality Department at HQ were fully supportive but once my case reached the Legal Department, they refused to help me, leaving me to fight the case on my own. UPDATE: OCTOBER 2013 - Employer settled, two weeks before Tribunal case.
So much for joining the CWU - not there when you need it! Save yourself money, leave or do not join.