Love him or hate him, Jack Jones dedicated his life to the advancement of the working man. I am biased because I had the honour of meeting the man several times whilst I was on picket lines during various industrial disputes in the 1970's. He always had the time to listen and talk with the ordinary worker, not like many Trade Union bosses who all too often looked down upon the fee paying member as voting fodder or a meal ticket.
Born in 1913 and raised in poverty in Liverpool, Jones started working life in the Liverpool docks, the birthplace of many militant trade unionists, socialists and communists.
Badly wounded at the Ebro in the Spanish Civil War, Jones went on to become probably the most powerful Trade Union leader in UK history, nicknamed as one of the "terrible twins" along with Hugh Scanlon by the right wing press in the 70's.
Modest to a fault, quietly spoken, he was elected General Secretary of the huge Transport and General Workers Union in 1968 where he remained until retirement in 1977.
Since his death there have been some fairly serious accusations about where Jack Jone's real loyalties laid, although a Labour Party member he was considered to be a 'fellow traveller' by some. However that in itself was not unusual amongst his generation, many of whom had loyalty to other than free market capitalism. If he was a red then I for one am not bothered, in fact he goes up in my estimation. Before all the right wingers start calling me things, the answer is yes I am.
I do note however, that these claims were only made after his death.
An interesting and well written auto-biography that covers industrial relations and attitudes from the 30's to almost the 80's, not written by bosses, intellectuals, politicians or scholars, but by a working class lad who was in the thick of it.