George Woodcock (trade unionist)

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This article is about the British trade unionist. For the Canadian writer, see George Woodcock. For the English cricketer, see George Woodcock (cricketer).
The Right Honourable
George Woodcock
George Woodcock 1965-03-30 (cropped).jpg
General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
In office
6 September 1960 – 26 February 1969
Preceded by Sir Vincent Tewson
Succeeded by Vic Feather
Assistant General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
In office
General Secretary Sir Vincent Tewson
Preceded by Vincent Tewson
Succeeded by Vic Feather
Personal details
Born 20 October 1904 (1904-10-20)
Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England
Died 30 October 1979 (1979-10-31) (aged 75)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Relations married Laura McKernan. Laura had a brother Francis. They were brought up by Francis McKernan and his wife Louisa Conway nee Ratcliffe who was previous married to Martin Conway.(He died). The son Francis married Nellie Roberts and they represented the North West in the Come Dancing Competition on the TV in the '60s and '70s.
Children Velja who lived in Mexico City
Alma mater Ruskin College

George Woodcock, CBE (20 October 1904 – 30 October 1979[1]) was a British trade unionist and general secretary of the Trades Union Congress from 1960 to 1969.

Born and brought up in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, he started work at age 12 in the local cotton mill.[1] He became, in 1924, an official of the Bamber Bridge and District Weavers' Union. He was also active in the Independent Labour Party and the Labour Party. In 1929 he won a TUC scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford, in 1929. Having distinguished himself at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and following two years in the civil service, Woodcock joined the TUC in 1936 as head of the research and economic department. Here, Woodcock was much influenced by leading moderates in the trade union movement, such as Walter Citrine and Ernest Bevin, and also by the economic ideas of John Maynard Keynes.

In 1947 he became the TUC's Assistant General Secretary and in 1960, was appointed General Secretary, serving in that position until 1969. In 1970 Woodcock was a candidate for the Chancellorship of the University of Kent at Canterbury, but lost to Jo Grimond.


  1. ^ a b "Mr George Woodcock". The Times. London, England. 19 November 1979. p. 25. 
  • George Goodman, "Woodcock, George, (1904-1979), trade unionist", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Vincent Tewson
Assistant General Secretary of the TUC
Succeeded by
Vic Feather
Preceded by
Vincent Tewson
General Secretary of the TUC
Succeeded by
Vic Feather