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Ben Tillett (1860-1943), Trade union leader and politician

Benjamin ('Ben') Tillett

Sitter in 4 portraits
Trade union leader. Ben Tillett founded the Dockers' Union in 1897 and was instrumental in forming the National Transport Workers' Federation in 1910. These bodies merged in 1922 to form the Transport and General Workers Union. Dockers' strikes in August 1911 were settled after 20,000 were called out for eleven days in London. In May 1920, the dockers refused to load munitions on the Jolly George destined for the Polish defence against Russia. Tillett was Labour MP for North Salford 1917-24 and 1929-31. He was a member of the general council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) throughout the 1920s, and its Chairman in 1928-9.