Striking image for a documentary on Jack Jones, largely financed with union funds.
A reminder of a union leader whose political values and organisational capability led to him creating Britain’s largest union.
Often on the tele to get the values across and to ensure justice at the workplace was a media issue – kinda missing that in particular these days.
The documentary makes the point that low hours contracts are the casualisation of labour that was fought against for all those years.
Born in a deprived part of Liverpool, his commitment to the cause and for trade unions was “in your bones”, as Dennis Skinner put it.
Opposing fascism and fighting in the Spanish Civil War was celebrated, although his service as a Liverpool City Councillor (he was the youngest councillor) wasn’t.
Taking union organisation in the motor city of Coventry to a new level.
He was very well-known, and highly regarded by the public, and in retirement led the National Pensioners’ Convention.
For sons of 70’s trade unions activists like me, the documentary is not only a rehearsal of good values, but also an immersion in nostalgia as you recognise all the activists and leaders from the past. Oh and Mike Yarwood.
It is surprising that documentaries like these haven’t already been made, especially by the BBC who had people like Michael Cockerill who could have done something with the life story. This documentary has too many testifiers from now and not enough film from then.
Maybe something could then have been said about his time as a Councillor. Maybe some recognition for advances made for pensioners by new Labour before his death in 2009.