Roache grew up in London, where his father was a shop steward on the docks. In 1979, he began working in the postroom of the GMB, over time being promoted to become a legal officer, then an organiser, and finally in 2007 as the union's Regional Secretary for Yorkshire and North Derbyshire.
In 2009, Roache led a 13-week strike of refuse workers and street cleaners employed by Leeds City Council; this was the longest strike in the GMB's history. He also ran the "End Foul Pay" campaign for football clubs to pay ground staff higher wages.
Roache was elected as General Secretary and Treasurer of the GMB in November 2015, receiving 56.7% of the vote on a turnout of 4.2%, beating the one other candidate, Paul McCartney. Roache took up the post in 2016.
Alongside his role in the GMB, Roache was the chair of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) and also of the Yorkshire and Humber Trades Union Congress. He was reported to be supportive of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party and has criticised the 2015 Labour manifesto, drawn up under Ed Miliband.
- Roache, Tim (12 December 2015). "Leading From The Front". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "Tim Roache elected new head of GMB". BBC News. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "GMB: Campaigner Roache Aims For The Top Job". Morning Star. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- Private Eye. London: Pressdram Ltd. 5 August 2016. Missing or empty
- Simons, Ned (29 September 2015). "Union Official Tim Roache Slams 'Bullsh**t' Labour 2015 Manifesto, Tells Mandelson He Isn't Wanted". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
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