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Thread: Jack Jones - 'Union Man'

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    Default Jack Jones - 'Union Man'

    Jack Jones was born in Liverpool in 1913. He left school at 14 and worked as an engineering apprentice, then as a dock-worker. He served with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War and was wounded at the Battle of Ebro in 1938. Later he became a full-time official of the T&G in Coventry and helped to keep the city's munitions industry working through the terrible German bombings.

    After the war Jack was largely responsible for organising the work force of the car industry in the Midlands. He was elected general secretary of the T&G in 1968 and led the union for nine years. During that time he held many prominent positions in the TUC and was a principal spokesman on international and economic matters.

    Jack was the 'architect' of ACAS and was a member of the NEDC from 1969 to 1978. In 1977 he gave the BBC Dimbleby Lecture, 'The Human Face of Labour'.


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    Jack Jones wrote about his childhood in his autobiography, 'Union Man" (1986):

    My home was in York Street, Garston, in the south end of Liverpool - a long street of poor and mean terraced houses. They had two rooms up and two rooms down, generally in a decaying state. They had been built some time in the last century - obviously with the minimum of cost - to house labour for the nearby factories and docks. The houses were infested by rats, mice, cockroaches and bugs. Our rent was five shillings a week, and even that was exorbitant!

    From a child's point of view the street had one advantage: out of the maze of working-class streets it was the nearest to the Mersey river. We walked past the copper works, the tannery, Grayson's shipyard, the bobbin works (making wooden bobbins for the textile industry), a derelict glass works and King's ship-breaking yard and there we were on the shore, a wonderful if muddy playground when we tired of playing our games in the the street.
    Ermine tastes much the same as sackcloth when there's nothing left to eat.

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    One of the most influential trade union leaders of his generation is being honoured in Liverpool on Saturday.

    The Transport and General Workers Union is renaming its Liverpool offices after Jack Jones, its Liverpool-born former General Secretary.

    Mr Jones, 93, will be welcomed back to his home city by current General Secretary Tony Woodley for a ceremony and open afternoon from 1300 BST.

    The city's Mayor will attend along with a number of union officials.

    "Jack Jones is the greatest living trade unionist and a fearless champion for standing up and fighting back for justice," said Mr. Woodley.

    "He took his T&G campaigning and organising skills into the fight for pensioners. We are proud and humbled to honour him in this way by rededicating Transport House as Jack Jones House."

    Mr Jones, who left school aged 14, started work as a Liverpool docker.

    Source: Here....

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Veteran opens war exhibition
    Sep 4 2008
    by Staff Reporter, Liverpool Echo



    JACK Jones, one of the leading figures of the post-war trades union movement and a Spanish Civil War veteran, opened a special exhibition in the city about the conflict.

    The event at the Peoples Centre in Mount Pleasant commemorates the men from the north west who served in the International Brigade during the civil war, which lasted from 1936-39.

    Mr Jones, 95, was among the 160 Brigade soldiers from Merseyside who fought for the republican cause against General Franco?s fascist forces.

    A union activist at Garston docks where he worked, at the time he went to Spain he was a Liverpool Labour city councillor.

    Serving with the International Brigade?s British Battalion, he was seriously wounded at the Battle of Ebro in 1938.

    After returning to Britain he became a full-time official of the Transport and General Workers Union, rising to become its general secretary in 1968.

    The exhibition runs for the next month.

    Source: Liverpool Echo

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    Unhappy Former union chief Jones dies at 96 - Tuesday 21st April 2009

    Former trade union leader Jack Jones has died aged 96, his son said.



    Mick Jones said his father, who led the Transport and General Workers' Union, died in London shortly after 9.30pm on Tuesday.

    He said: "He passed away very peacefully in a very nice care home in Peckham."

    He continued: "He had all the care he could possibly want. He was active until the very end and had a good innings."

    Mr Jones was born in Liverpool and served as general secretary of the TGWU from 1969 to 1978 when it was one of the most powerful unions in the country.

    Former TUC General Secretary Norman Willis said Mr Jones would be remembered as a "fighter" for ordinary people.

    He said: "I worked with Jack in the T&G and through the TUC for many years.

    "Jack Jones was a great fighter for ordinary people whether they were at work or unemployed or later as pensioners.

    "He never forgot the underdog and will be remembered with affection."

    Source: Press Association

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    A great man of principle...and action.

    His type saw the worst of poverty, ignorance and exploitation and decided to fight and even put their own lives on the line.
    Last edited by Waterways; 04-22-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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    Union chief Jack Jones dies at 96

    Jack Jones, who led the Transport and General Workers' Union in the 1970s, has died at the age of 96.

    More from BBC News (including audio and video clips)

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