Jack Jones (trade union leader)

Jack Jones (trade union leader)

James Larkin Jones CH MBE (born March 29, 1913), known as Jack Jones, is a former British trade union leader and former General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union.

Jones was born in Garston, Liverpool. He left school at 14 and worked as an engineering apprentice, then as a dock-worker. He served with the British Battalion of the XV International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War and he was seriously wounded at the Battle of Ebro in 1938. On his return to England he became a full-time official of the TGWU in Coventry. During World War II he helped to keep the city's munitions industry working through the Blitz. Jones played a key role in organising the workforce of the West Midlands motor industry in the postwar period as Regional Secretary of the TGWU. During this time he was a strong supporter of the shop steward movement aimed at promoting trade union and industrial democracy. He was an early supporter of the Institute for Workers' Control. While Assistant General Secretary of the union and a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, he chaired the Labour Party policy group on Industrial Democracy.

Jones was elected General Secretary of the TGWU in 1968. Together with Hugh Scanlon, President of the Amalgamated Engineering Union he led the left wing trade union opposition to the 1966-70 Labour Government's prices and incomes policy and the efforts of the that government's and the subsequent Conservative Government to introduce legislation to restrict the activities of trade unions and the right to strike.

While General Secretary, he was chief economic spokesman for the Trades Union Congress and one of the authors of the Social Contract. Jones was also instrumental in the creation of the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (Acas) in 1975 and was a member of the National Economic Development Council from 1969 to 1978. Jones campaigned for Britain to leave the EEC in the 1975 referendum. [David Butler and Uwe Kitzinger, "The 1975 Referendum" (London: Macmillan, 1976), p. 232.]

In January 1977 a Gallup opinion poll found that 54% of people believed that Jones was the most powerful person in Britain, ahead of the Prime Minister. [http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/E71626243C1040CBB29F8C80BDD4E3F1.pdf]

In retirement from the T&G, Jones served as the President of the National Pensioners Convention, an umbrella organisation representing over 1,000 local, regional and national pensioners' groups, of which he is now Honorary Life President. He is also President of the International Brigade Memorial Trust. His biography, "Union Man", was published in 1986.

Jones was nominated for the position of Chancellor of the University of London, but lost the election to Princess Anne in 1981.

Jones lives in Denmark Hill in South London.



* "Union Man", Jack Jones, HarperCollins, 1986, ISBN 0-00-217172-4.
* [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPjonesJ.htm Jack Jones biography] - www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk

External links

* [http://www.natpencon.org.uk/ National Pensioners' Convention] - www.natpencon.org.uk
* [http://www.international-brigades.org.uk/ International Brigade Memorial Trust] - www.international-brigades.org.uk

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