A Summary of the Papers of the Transport and General Workers' Union and its predecessors


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Administrative/Biographical History

System of Arrangement

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

Accruals

Access Conditions

Restrictions

Language of Material

Additional Sources of Information

Related Units of Description

Constituent Archives

A Summary of the Papers of the Transport and General Workers' Union and its predecessors


ReferenceGB 0152 MSS.126
TitlePapers of the Transport and General Workers' Union and its predecessors
Dates of Creation
Held atModern Records Centre, University of Warwick Library
Extent 11.387 cubic metres
Name of CreatorTransport and General Workers' Union and predecessors

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Administrative/Biographical History

The Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) was formed on 1 January 1922 by the amalgamation of fourteen unions: the Amalgamated Association of Carters and Motormen (founded in 1916); the Amalgamated Carters', Lurrymen's and Motormen's Union (founded in 1890); the Amalgamated Society of Watermen, Lightermen and Bargemen (see below); the Associated Horsemen's Union (founded in 1894); the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers' Union of Great Britain and Ireland (see below); the Labour Protection League (a London dockers' union founded in 1889); the National Amalgamated Coal Porters' Union of Inland and Seaborne Coal Workers (founded in 1889); the National Amalgamated Labourers' Union of Great Britain and Ireland (founded in 1889); the National Association of Ships' Clerks, Grain Weighers and Coalmeters (founded in 1911); the National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staffs (see below); the National Union of Vehicle Workers (see below); the North of England Trimmers' and Teemers' Association (founded in 1902 by the amalgamation of the Northern and the Tyne and Blyth associations); the North of Scotland Horse and Motormen's Association (founded in 1911); and the United Vehicle Workers (see below). It has absorbed dozens more unions since that time, including the National Union of Dock, Riverside and General Workers in Great Britain and Ireland (formed as the National Union of Dock Labourers in 1889) in 1922, the National Union of Enginemen, Firemen, Mechanics and Electrical Workers (see below) in 1926, the Workers' Union (founded in 1898) in 1929, the National Glass Workers' Trade Protection Association (see below) in 1940, the National Association of Plasterers, Granolithic and Cement Workers (see below) in 1968, the Union of Bookmakers' Employees (founded in 1939) and the Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union (see below) in 1971, the National Union of Vehicle Builders (see below) in 1972, and the Grimsby Steam and Diesel Fishing Vessels Engineers' and Firemen's Union (see below) in 1976.

The Amalgamated Society of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames was established in 1872. In 1901 it absorbed the Society of Watchmen of the Port of London and changed its name to the Amalgamated Society of Watermen, Lightermen and Watchmen of the River Thames. In 1912 it changed its name again to become the Amalgamated Society of Watermen, Lightermen and Bargemen.

After the great dock strike of 1889 the Tea Operatives' and General Labourers' Association (founded in 1887) was renamed the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union. It was this union which originated the amalgamation which formed the TGWU.

In 1917 the Port of London Staff Association, founded in 1909, was renamed the Port of London Docks and Wharves Staff Association on registration as a trade union. It became the National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staffs in 1919.

The London Carmens' Trade Union was formed in 1888 and changed its name to the National Union of Vehicle Workers (NUVW) in 1913.

United Vehicle Workers (UVW) was formed in 1919 by the amalgamation of the London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers and the Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers. The London and Provincial Union of Licensed Vehicle Workers was founded in 1894 as the London Cab Drivers' Trade Union and changed its name in 1913. The Northern Counties Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Hackney Carriage Employees was founded in 1889. In 1893 it became the Northern Counties Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Hackney Carriage Employees and Horsemen in General, in 1902 the Tramway, Hackney Carriage Employees and Horsemen's Association, and in 1903 the Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers.

The National Amalgamated Union of Enginemen, Cranemen, Hammer Drivers and Boiler Firemen of Great Britain was founded in 1895. At some time after June 1900 it changed its name to the National Amalgamated Enginemen, Cranemen, Hammer, Steam and Electric Tram Drivers and Boiler Firemen. In 1904 it changed its name again, to the much shorter National Amalgamated Union of Enginemen, &c. At some point after September 1906 it was renamed the National Amalgamated Union of Enginemen, Firemen, Mechanics and Electrical Workers, after absorbing the Lancashire Enginemen's, Cranemen's and Firemen's, Electrical and Hydraulic Attendants' Association. In 1921, after absorbing the Northern United Enginemen's Association, it was renamed the National Union of Enginemen, Firemen, Mechanics and Electrical Workers.

The Yorkshire Glass Bottle Makers' United Trade Protection Society may date as far back as 1827. In 1920 it amalgamated with the National Glass Bottle Makers' Society of Great Britain and Ireland, which had seceeded from the National Flint Glass Makers' Sick and Friendly Society of Great Britain and Ireland (formed in 1849) in 1902, to form the National Glass Workers' Trade Protection Association.

The North of England Glass Bottle Makers' Society was founded in 1873. The National Glass Bottle Makers' Friendly Society was in existence in the mid nineteenth century. Their relationship to the other glass makers' societies is unclear.

The National Association of Operative Plasterers was formed in 1860, probably by the amalgamation of three local societies. It was renamed the National Association of Plasterers, Granolithic and Cement Workers in 1918. In 1967, it absorbed the Scottish National Plasterers' Union. This was founded in 1888 as the Scottish National Operative Plasterers' Federal Union by the amalgamation of many local societies throughout Scotland. In 1939 it became the Scottish National Operative Plasterers' Protective and Benefit Federal Union and in 1945 adopted its final name.

The Scottish Carters' Association was founded in 1898. In 1908 it changed its name to the Scottish Horse and Motormen's Association, and in 1964 to the Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union.

The London Coachmakers' Friendly Society was formed in 1842 or 1843. It was renamed the London Coach Body and Carriage Makers' Trade Union at some time before 1908, when it was renamed the London and Provincial Coachmakers' Society.

The National Union of Vehicle Builders (NUVB) was formed in 1919 by the amalgamation of the London and Provincial Coachmakers' Society, the Operative Coachmakers and Wheelwrights' Federal Labour Union, the London Coachsmiths and Vicemen's Trade Society and the United Kingdom Society of Coachmakers (founded in 1834). This latter had already absorbed the Coachmakers' Friendly Society of the City of Cork.

The Loyal Wheelwrights' and Blacksmiths' Society was founded in 1830. It became the Loyal, Free, Industrious Society of Wheelwrights and Blacksmiths in 1870. In 1908 it merged with the Amalgamated Wheelwrights' and Carriage Makers' Union to form the Amalgamated Society of Wheelwrights, Smiths and Motor Body Makers. In 1921 this was renamed the Amalgamated Wheelwrights', Smiths' and Kindred Trades Union. The union merged with the National Union of Vehicle Builders in 1925.

The Grimsby Steam and Diesel Fishing Vessels Engineers' and Firemen's Union was formed as the Grimsby Steam Fishing Vessels' Engineers' and Firemen's Union in 1896 and renamed in 1961.

The National Transport Workers' Federation was founded in 1910 to bring together all unions with members in docks, road haulage and passenger transport, to discuss problems and co-ordinate action.

Ernest Bevin was a full-time official with the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union from 1911. He served as Assistant National Organiser, 1913-14, and National Organiser, 1914-22. In 1922, he was elected the first General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, serving until he became Minister of Labour and National Service in 1940.

Jack Jones served as General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union from 1969 until his retirement in 1978.

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System of Arrangement

This is a large and complicated archive. The papers have been arranged initially according to the unions which created them. It should be noted that the papers of many of the TGWU's predecessor unions are not held by the Modern Records Centre.

The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see http://www.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/mrcclass.shtml. It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

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Immediate Source of Acquisition

The first part of the archive was deposited in the Centre by the TGWU in 1976. Many more deposits have been made since that time.

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.

Accruals

Further deposits are expected.

Access Conditions

Prior written permission must be obtained from Mr R. Collins, Assistant General Secretary, TGWU , Transport House, 128 Theobolds Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8TN. Unpublished material is closed for twenty years.

Copyright/Reproduction

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

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Language of Material

English

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Additional Sources of Information

Related Units of Description

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Constituent Archives

MSS.126

MSS.126/ATVW Amalgamated Association of Tramway and Vehicle Workers and predecessors 1891-1919

MSS.126/BE Union of Bookmakers' Employees 1971-1976

MSS.126/DWR Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union of Great Britain and Ireland 1889-1922

MSS.126/DWS National Union of Docks, Wharves and Shipping Staffs 1919-1921

MSS.126/EB Ernest Bevin Papers 1919-1954

MSS.126/GE Grimsby Steam and Diesel Fishing Vessels' Engineers' and Firemen's Union and predecessors 1900-1987

MSS.126/JJ Jack Jones Papers 1898-1981

MSS.126/LP London and Provincial Coachmakers' Society and predecessors 1846-1935

MSS.126/LVW London and Provincial Union of Licenced Vehicle Workers and predecessors 1897-1919

MSS.126/NAUE National Amalgamated Union of Enginemen, Firemen, Mechanics and Electrical Workers and predecessors 1895-1926

MSS.126/NTW National Transport Workers' Federation 1911-1927

MSS.126/NUDL National Union of Dock, Riverside and General Workers in Great Britain and Ireland 1902-1921

MSS.126/OP National Association of Plasterers, Granolithic and Cement Workers and predecessors 1873-1967

MSS.126/SHMA Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union and predecessors 1927-1974

MSS.126/SP Scottish National Plasterers' Union and predecessors 1896-1968

MSS.126/TG Transport and General Workers' Union 1920-1998

MSS.126/UVW United Vehicle Workers 1919-1921

MSS.126/VB National Union of Vehicle Builders and predecessors 1845-1972

MSS.126/VW National Union of Vehicle Workers and predecessors 1889-1923

MSS.126/WH Amalgamated Wheelwrights', Smiths' and Kindred Trades Union and predecessors 1869-1924

MSS.126/WL Amalgamated Society of Watermen, Lightermen and Bargemen and predecessors 1893-1921

MSS.126/WU Workers' Union 1905-1929

MSS.126/YG National Glass Workers' Trade Protection Association and predecessors 1850-1965

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