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Mann, Tom

Mann, Tom (1856–1941). Socialist and trade union leader. Born near Coventry and apprenticed as an engineer in Birmingham, Mann moved to London in 1877 and was active in the Social Democratic Federation from 1885. He achieved notoriety as a leader of the London dock strike of 1889, was elected first secretary of the Independent Labour Party in 1893, stood unsuccessfully for Parliament on three occasions in the 1890s, and founded the Workers' Union in 1898. In 1901 he visited New Zealand and Australia, where he started what became the Socialist Party of Australia. Returning in 1910, he founded the Industrial Syndicalist Education League and led the Liverpool transport workers' strike of 1911. In 1916 he joined the British Socialist Party and in 1919 became first secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Between the wars he was a leading member of the Communist Party. Unlike some of his contemporaries, he never lost his working-class roots or subsided into conservatism in old age.

Edward Royle

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Mann, Tom

Tom Mann, 1856–1941, British labor leader and socialist. He was an organizer of the 1889 London dock strike, which was an important step in the unionization of unskilled English laborers. Secretary (1894–97) of the Independent Labour party, he helped to organize (1902) the Labour party in Australia. Mann returned from Australia a proponent of syndicalism, and he was one of the founders (1920) of the British Communist party. He was jailed several times for his radical activities.

See his memoirs (1923, repr. 1967).

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