Unite celebrated the 100th birthday of one of the union’s longest serving members on Friday (June 22).
Former Unite shop steward and retired fitter and turner engineer and train repairman Tom Jones was joined by family, friends, care home staff and Unite general secretary Len McCluskey at a care home in London (pictured below) to celebrate turning 100 and to honour his commitment to the union.
Tom, born in 1918, left school at the age of 15 and joined Fraser and Chalmers as an office boy. After undertaking an apprenticeship at the firm, he later became a fitter and turner engineer working on slotter-shaper and planner machines. It was here that he became an active shop steward.
During the Second World War, Tom was in the Home Guards based at Shooters Hill in the reserved occupation. After the war, he returned to Fraser and Chalmers – which later became Parsons – where he worked for nearly four decades until he was made redundant.
He then went on to work for British Railways repairing trains at Slade Green sheds. There, Tom was active on the works committee until retiring at 65.
Retirement hasn’t stopped Tom from being active in his local community, however – he’s helped in a local paper shop and unloaded lorries for British Bakers for a time. He’s also been active in several working men’s clubs and has served as branch president of the Pensioners Members Forum at Civic Offices.
On behalf of Unite, McCluskey presented Tom with a commemorative engraved bowl in recognition of his “unprecedented loyalty to the union.”
“One of the joys of my role is meeting our members,” McCluskey tweeted. “I am spending this morning with one of them, Mr Tom Jones, who is 100 years young and a member of our union for 83 years. What an honour to be able to share today with him and find out what our union means to him.
“Thank you so much to Tom and his wonderful family for letting me share this day with them,” he added. “A very happy birthday to Tom and thank you for your years of membership and dedication.”