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Jack Tanner (1889-1965), President of the Amalgamated Engineering Union
Sitter in 3 portraits
Tanner was apprenticed at fourteen as a fitter and turner in a Southwark engineering works. He joined the Amalgamated Society of Engineers in 1912, which merged with other unions to become the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) in 1920. During the Second World War, he supported shop-floor organisation and joint production committees in order to maximise war production. In 1940 he pressurised the government to appoint a committee on 'skilled men in the services', which led directly to the formation of the Regiment of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was President of the AEU from 1939 until his retirement in 1954, after which he served as President of the Trades Union Congress.