The Workers Union was established by Tom Mann in 1898 as a new union to cater for semi-skilled workers in the Engineering Industry.
Despite a early haphazard recruitment pattern, The Workers Union ability to organise in the new "mass production" factories would eventually secure its position as one of largest union in the county.
However, in 1910 the Workers Union had just four branches in
In 1913 The Workers Union General Secretary Charles Duncan, appointed its first London full time organiser, George Dallas, a Scottish Socialist (later MP)
It was with the massive expansion in armaments factories necessitated by the start of World war One that allowed the Workers Union to organise.
Within one year of the outbreak of the War over seventy percent of workers in industry were employed in Government war contracts, by 1918 it had risen to ninety percent.
The Hayes factories in West Middlesex, switched production from consumer goods to munitions, and new huge munitions factories built with towering chimneys.
By December 1913 the local Advertiser newspaper was recording that "It is safe to say that the majority of Botwell workers now belong to one union or another".
From 1915 onwards compulsory arbitration under the Munitions Acts forced all mayor employers to recognise the unions and this helped propel the Workers Union into the largest union in the country.
Workers Union growth in North London was spectacular, most notably at Enfield. But the union also established several strong West London branches, by far the largest factory being Waring & Gillow at White City, who produced tents and gas masks. It was at Waring & Gillow that a four day strike by mainly women workers secured Workers Unuion recognition.
Young male and female workers along with
We also know that Belgium workers at the Army Lorry Company had joined the Workers Union at the beginning of the War and that they were (despite the threat of conscription into the Belgium army) involved in a brief strike in the factory in 1915. The Workers Union even established a special section for
But it was undoubtedly it was due to the energetic endeavours of the local Workers Union full time organiser Frank Rosenberg (he also seems to be involved at Slough) that three branches of the Workers Union were established in Hayes by 1918. The strongest branch of the Workers Union in Hayes being headed by
Frank Rosenberg in August 1918 stated
"To anybody who did not belong to a union, he would say that they were failing in their duty towards the men who were fighting in
Another regular visitor to Hayes was Miss Saward, one of the very first full time women union officials.
The Workers Union would go on to amalgamate into the Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) in 1929, which in itself would become such a powerful voice for the working people of Hayes.
D.M.A. Page - Workers Union, Hayes
Douglas Page was born in Hammersmith in 1884 and was by 1901 employed as an oil works labourer, he moved to Hayes in 1914 and became a beltman in the local factories. By 1918 he was branch Secretary of Hayes branch of the Workers Union. Page began employment at His Master Voice (HMV later EMI) in 1924. As the founder of the Workers Union branch in Hayes he was honoured in 1957 by his union, becoming a life member of the Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) signed, personally by Frank Cousins.
He was active in Hayes Lab
our party and was first elected to Hayes & Harlington Council as a Labour Councillor in 1924, representing both East and South Wards. He was Chairman of the council 1937-1938 and on Coronation day he opened the new station bridge in Hayes.
In 1940 he was appointed Justice of the Peace.
His wife Mrs Page was a founder member of the Hayes Maternity & Welfare Committee and represented the Labour Party on Middlesex County Council Education Committee for 26 years
(Photo Right above Watford branch of the Workers Union, banner and Miss F. Saward centre)
By Michael Walker 2008
The Isle of Man branch of the Workers Union (later Transport & General Workers Union TGWU) was established by Alfred "Alf" Teare a Printer in March 1917 by the end of 1918 it had over one thousand members covering all industries.
The Workers' Union in 1918 had the following officers on the Isle of Man;Douglas Secretary- Alfred James Teare, Crosby Terrace; R
ushen Secretary- R. Leece, The Friary ; Peel Secretary- F. Kinrade, 32 Glenfaba-Road ; Ramsey Secretary- Frank Cain, 2 Marsden Terrace; Laxey Secretary-T. E. Lewin, Dimon Villa.
Th Workers Union on the Isle of Man effectively called a general strike in July 1918, a strike that was largely successful. By 1920 The Workers Union on the island had 3-4,000 members.Alfred James Teare born at Barrow-in-Furness in 1879, of Manx parentage. Isle of Man Organising Secretary of the Workers' Union since March, 1917 ; Chairman of the Bread Strike Committee of 1918 ; appointed the first w orking-man justice of the Peace, 1919 ; elected to the House of Keys for South Douglas as a Labour Member at the 1919 General Election and returned again, 1924. A Member of the Douglas and District Licensing Court ; of the Isle of Man Advertising Board and of the Workmen's Hospital Committee. Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Government on the Demobilization of Soldiers and the Labour Exchange from 1918 until its close. General Secretary of the Manx Labour Party which, in its present form, he was mainly responsible for organising. Has taken a keen interest in local Musical events, and been an active member of Athletic Clubs ; also was a member of the 7th Batt. King's Liverpool Regiment (I.o.M. Volunteers) from 1899 to 1902. Address : 6, Crosby Terrace, Douglas
TGWU Channel Islands
In Jersey on the Channel Islands, the union was establsihed by the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers Union on 23rd September 1918 (however the Guernsey branch predated this). Ned Moignard was elected President and Jack Hardman as Secretary (until 1932). In 1919 Moignard split from the Dockers Union to form a branch of the Workers Union. However both unions merged nationally to establish the Transport & General Workers Union. By the end of 1921 the TGWU had 5,000 members on Jersey. Between 1932 and 1937 the branch had some rather poor Branch secretaries until the arrival from the mainland of a young Edward Hyman in January 1937
The TGWU was part of the small but honourable Jesey resistance movement against Nazi occupation in the Second World War lead by Communist Norman Le Brocq (Photo)and Les Huelin (Jersey Democratic Movement) printing an undeground trade union newsletter Worker's Review. While Norman Le Brocq was the best known TGWU member and activist on Jersey he was not allowed to hold office by his union because of his Communist Party membership.
Michael Walker 2008