National Transport Workers' Federation

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The National Transport Workers' Federation (NTWF) was an association of British trade unions. It was formed in 1910 to co-ordinate the activities of various organisations catering for dockers, seamen, tramwaymen and road transport workers.


The NTWF had some success as an organisational tool and as a symbol of trade union unity, but since its member unions retained full control over their own affairs it was not always able to have a direct influence on trade disputes. One of its members William Ball, was the subject of a pamphlet 'Torture in an English Prison' about his treatment as a male union supporter of women's right to vote in 1911.[1] In 1912, it called a National Dock Strike in support of London dockers which was observed only in a few centres, and which ended within a week. This was regarded as an embarrassing setback, and led the Federation to adopt a more cautious approach in subsequent years. In 1921 it was criticised for failing to bring out its members in support of the miners in the Black Friday crisis.

The NTWF laid the foundations for the creation of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) in 1922. The TGWU initially affiliated, but left in 1923, and the federation accomplished little thereafter, dissolving in 1927.[2]


In 1918, the federation's affiliates were:[3]



1910: Harry Gosling


1910: James Anderson
1912: Robert Williams
1925: Frederick James Maynard


  1. ^ Atkinson, Diane (2018-04-17). Rise up, women! : the remarkable lives of the suffragettes. London. p. 289. ISBN 9781408844045. OCLC 1016848621.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  2. ^ University of Warwick, "National Transport Workers' Federation, 1911-1927"
  3. ^ Coates, Ken; Topham, Tony (1991). The History of the Transport and General Workers' Union. Vol. 1, pt II. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 674.