March 2015

JULIA VARLEY - Trade union organiser and fighter for women’s rights

Julia Varley book coverThis is the second book (*) in a series of short books on great men and women who feature prominently in the history of UNITE and its predecessor unions.

We hope these histories will provide fascinating reading and inspire the current and future generations of trade unionists to take up the struggle on behalf of working people as there is certainly a lot to fight for.

Julia Varley was a working class woman who fought all her life for equal and civil rights, decent pay and working conditions. From an early age she recognised the power of collectivism and over the rest of her life she recruited many thousands of people to join her in the struggle for VOTES FOR WOMEN and TRADE UNION BARGAINING RIGHTS and without which all workers are at the mercy of the employing class.

Her unique ability - often by combining strike action with political agitation - to organise the low paid, especially women, was possibly without parallel in the second decade of the twentieth century. Julia’s upbringing meant she viewed life through the eyes of the people she worked alongside and it was this that led many of them to trust, respect and be led by her. 


*    TOM JONES -  fighter for freedom and working people: Spanish Civil War volunteer and Welsh TGWU       
      general secretary can be viewed at 

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