Unite Education: TOM JONES - a fighter for freedom and working people
Spanish Civil War volunteer and Welsh TGWU general secretary
Unite the Union
This is the first in a series of downloadable and printed 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.
Tom Jones was a remarkable man who as a miner actively participated in the 1926 General Strike before joining thousands from Britain and Ireland who bravely took up arms in the 1930s on behalf of the Spanish Republic in a battle to defend democracy and crush fascism. He remarkably survived being executed, a death sentence and years in prison before returning to Britain after a successful labour movement campaign to secure his release.
Serious injuries prevented him taking up arms to fight fascism in the Second World War. He became active at work in the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and was to be appointed as a regional organiser in North Wales and for parts of Merseyside. He later became the first TGWU all-Wales Regional Secretary.
A very bright and friendly man, Tom campaigned to bring industries and work to Wales. By recruiting and organising thousands of workers he helped ensure decent pay and conditions across many industries. As a labour movement activist he sought to extend support for the unemployed and those unable to work because of ill health or old age.
Towards the end of his working life, Tom played a prominent role in the development of the Wales Trades Union Council.
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