- Jack Jones (trade union leader)
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 Warand he was seriously wounded at the Battle of Ebroin 1938. On his return to England he became a full-time official of the TGWU in Coventry. During World War IIhe 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 stewardmovement 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 Unionhe 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 Congressand 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 Councilfrom 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 lives in
Denmark Hillin 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
* [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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