Chapter 32 – The death knell of the London Jewish Bakers Union

by Jason Lever

Posted on Fri, 06 Dec 2013 14:48:01 GMT

The remaining crumbs

The London Jewish Bakers Union outlived its general secretary, Solomon Lever, but his tragic death in 1959 ‘almost certainly contributed to the eventual collapse of the union by removing a key figure’ (ref: Wayne).

An undated newspaper article by Peter Whaley, entitled, ‘57 bakers throw in the sponge’, states that ‘The trade union that just never stopped growing SMALLER and smaller is about to disappear altogether. It is the London Jewish Bakers Union, which has shrunk to only 57 ageing members since refugees from Czarist Russia set it up in the 1890s’ (ref: Hackney Archives).

A Daily Worker reporter pointed out that 57 members was even fewer than the Wool Shear Workers (64) or the Spring Trapmakers’ Society (90), and ‘truly a handful’ compared with the Warpdressers and Twisters (142) from the world of northern mills and textiles (ref: Hackney Archives).

The same reporter went on to say that a ballot was to take place on ‘whether the few crumbs [pun intended!] that remain of ...[the] union should not be kneaded into the Amalgamated Union of Operative Bakers, Confectioners and Allied Workers’.

As late as 1964, it was still participating in national, Food Trades conferences with unions such as the Scottish Union of Bakers and Allied Workers and the Transport and General Workers Union (ref: TUC History Online, 9).

It finally ceased to function in 1966 and was formally dissolved in 1970 (ref: Wayne cited in Marsh & Smethurst).

Trades-Unions London-Jewish-Bakers-Union Declining-Baking-Industry

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Chapter 1 - Introducing Solomon Lever and his l...Chapter 2 - The Jewish East EndChapter 3 - A family history of Solomon LeverChapter 4 - A Jewish East End education for Sol...Chapter 5 - Joining East End cultural and commu...Chapter 6 - Solomon as a cabinet makerChapter 7 – From cabinet maker to trade union g...Chapter 8 – Rise of the London Jewish Bakers UnionChapter 9 – Dealing with the challenges of a de...Chapter 10 – Solomon’s journey to Jewish trade ...Chapter 11 – Interlude of anarchism’s appeal to...Chapter 12 – Solomon Lever finds his home in th...Chapter 13 – The Liberal and Conservative partiesChapter 14 – The Labour Party consolidates its ...Chapter 15 – The appeal of East End councils’ s...Chapter 16 – The rise and fall of communist sup...Chapter 17 – Surging Labourism after the warChapter 18 – The Labour Party’s support for Zio...Chapter 19 – Short-lived Labour-Zionist honeymoonChapter 20 – Solomon Lever’s 1947 broadcast spe...Chapter 21 – Solomon Lever’s 1948 speech from t...Chapter 22 – Solomon Lever’s 1954 speech from t...Chapter 23 – Solomon Lever’s final TUC speech i...Chapter 24 – His Worshipful The Mayor and Mayor...Chapter 25 – Family connections in the Mayor’s ...Chapter 26 – Important social issues raised wit...Chapter 27 – The adbuction of Solomon LeverChapter 28 – Discovery of Solomon’s bodyChapter 29 – InquestChapter 30 – The death of Solomon LeverChapter 31 – Solomon’s funeral and obituaryChapter 32 – The death knell of the London Jewi...Chapter 33 – An appraisalChapter 34 – Bibliography