ASLEF bids farewell to Brother Jack Jones

22 April 2009

ASLEF has added its own tribute to Jack Jones, the former T&GWU General Secretary and volunteer in the fight against Franco’s fascist regime in the 1930s, who died yesterday at age 96.


‘Jack was an example to us all,’ says Keith Norman. ‘He was a trade unionist and a socialist because of his convictions. He wasn’t attracted to the movement by a desire for money, power or state honours.’


Keith reminded us of Jack’s links with the railways. ‘He was born in Garston in Liverpool in 1913 and his two brothers were engine cleaners who joined ASLEF and became active within the trade union. Jack spoke highly of the ASLEF movement during his early days as an activist and had fond memories of train drivers through his train driver brothers.’


In 2006 Jack, as a founding member of the National Pensioners Forum, spoke at our union’s Retired Section meeting at Wortley Hall with a passion and intellect that belied his years, urging ASLEF members to ‘keep up the pressure on the government to secure the rights and dignity that pensioners deserve’.


‘Our greatest tribute to him is to maintain the fight to link pensions to the average earnings index,’ Keith said.


‘He was a man of principle who never forgot who elected him, and who he was accountable to,’ Keith said. ‘If anyone deserved a state funeral – unlike Margaret Thatcher – it would be Jack.


‘And the best thing about him is – he would have turned it down.’

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