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).
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