Sidney Ford

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Sir Sidney Ford, MBE (29 August 1909–13 August 1983) was a British trade union leader.

Sidney William George Ford was born in Edmonton, London. Ford began working for the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) in 1925.[1] He received his knighthood for his work on Lord Devlin's Docks Inquiry and other T.U.C. (trade union congress). He never worked as a miner, but became Secretary of COSA, the colliery officials and staffs section of the union. He was known for his loyalty to the Labour Party and his opposition to the union's left-wing.[2]

The MFGB was refounded as the National Union of Mineworkers. Its president-elect, Alwyn Machen, died suddenly in March 1960, the same month he was elected. A new presidential election was held, and Ford stood against Alex Moffat, a Scottish communist.[2] He retired in 1971. For a number of years prior to his death he suffered from Parkinsons Disease, and died as a result of this on 13 August 1983.[1] He died in Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, London N.21.

Ford's period as leadership was marked by mass pit closures and relatively little resistance. His successor, Joe Gormley, wrote in his autobiography that this passivity led many mineworkers to distrust the white-collar COSA section of the union, which influenced the lack of support for the moderate Trevor Bell, who ran against Arthur Scargill for the leadership in 1981.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Who's Who". Retrieved 2012-05-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Andrew Taylor, The NUM and British Politics: 1969–1995, p.25
  3. Gormley, Joe (1982). Battered Cherub. London: Hamish Hamilton. p. 207. ISBN 9780241107546.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>in Amos, David (December 2011). "THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE MINERS', THE UNION OF DEMOCRATIC MINEWORKERS AND THE 1984-85 MINERS STRIKE: SCABS OR SCAPEGOATS?" (PDF). University of Nottingham. p. 43-44. Retrieved 19 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Alwyn Machen
President of the National Union of Mineworkers
Succeeded by
Joe Gormley