Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stalwart Recalls the Days of Glory

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stalwart Recalls the Days of Glory

Article excerpt

Byline: By Gayle Tomlinson

A union stalwart has celebrated his 90th birthday by recalling his successes on the shop floor.

Jim Harper, a former TUC and Ucatt regional secretary, spent years fighting for better pay and conditions during Tyneside's booming ship-building era.

From his home in Denton, Newcastle, he recalled how he started out as an apprentice at 14 at a joinery works in Newcastle.

He said: "I can never remember having a strike. The work we did was helping people, getting jobs for them. I think the unions now should stop walking out."

Jim was forced down to London to find work during the Depression in the 30s.

It was there that he first got involved in the Joiners' Union, now known as Ucatt, in 1938.

But before long he returned to his roots, helping to build ships on yards on the Tyneduring the Second World War.

Mr Harper told how he was elected to the Tyne & Blyth Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers, where he would fight for the rights of employees. …

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