Joseph Jones (trade unionist)

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Joseph Jones (1891 – 1 April 1948) was a British trade unionist.

Born in St Helens, Jones studied at a technical college before becoming a coal miner.[1] He moved to work at Thurcroft, and was elected branch secretary of the Yorkshire Miners' Association (YMA) in 1914. He was an active methodist, and strongly promoted the cause of temperance,[2] later becoming Chairman of the Workers' Temperance League. He was elected as a Labour Party member of West Riding County Council in 1919, serving until 1933.[1] In 1923, Jones was elected as Treasurer of the YMA and, the following year, he became its General Secretary. He was elected to Barnsley Town Council in 1926, serving as Mayor of Barnsley in 1931.[3]

In 1924, Jones contested the General Secretaryship of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) as the candidate of the union's right-wing, but he was narrowly defeated by the communist A. J. Cook.[4] From 1926 until 1931, Jones was on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, and from 1930 to 1938 he was the government's Coal Mine Reorganisation Commissioner.[1]

Jones was elected as Vice President of the MFGB in 1932, then in 1934 became the union's President. He resigned in 1938 to join the Coal Commission, and in 1947 was appointed as advisor on social insurance to the National Coal Board.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Robin Page Arnot, The Miners in Crisis and War, p.129
  2. Peter Gibbon and David Steyne, Thurcroft: a village and the miners' strike - an oral history, p.15
  3. Colliery Guardian, vol.141, p.979
  4. David Howell, MacDonald's Party, p.119
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Samuel Roebuck
General Secretary of the Yorkshire Miners' Association
Succeeded by
Ernest Jones
Preceded by
Peter Lee
Vice-President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
Succeeded by
S. O. Davies
Preceded by
Peter Lee
President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain
Succeeded by
Will Lawther
Preceded by
John C. Little and William R. Townley
Trades Union Congress representative to the American Federation of Labour
With: John W. Stephenson
Succeeded by
Herbert Henry Elvin