Tillett, Ben (1860 - 1943)
Ben Tillet was a prominent British unionist. As General Secretary of the Tea Operatives & General Labourers' Association, he became involved in the 1889 London Dock Strike and, along with John Burns and Tom Mann, became one of the leaders of the strike. Following the strike's success, Tillet was elected secretary of the newly formed General Labourers' Union, and involved in the formation of the Independent Labour Party.
Tillet toured Australia in 1897 and 1898, where he was feted at the 'Napoleon of Labour'.
He had a difficult relationship with the Labour Party, ran as an independent in 1917, but then as a Labour candidate in 1918. Later in life his politics became increasingly conservative. He retired from Parliament in 1931.
Created: 25 January 2005, Last modified: 21 June 2006