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Michael Christopher (Mick) Jordan (1913–1969)

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Jordan, Michael Christopher Charles (Mick) also known as Jordens (1913-1969) packer and trade union official 

Birth: 14 February 1913 at Carlton, Victoria, son of native-born parents, Michael Hartine Rudolph Jordens (later Jordan) (1893-1963), a grave digger, and Susan, née Borland. Marriage: 1 October 1931 at St Luke’s Church, Fitzroy, Melbourne, to native-born Mavis Elizabeth Richards (1909-2009). They had one son and one daughter. Death: 5 June 1969 in his home at West Brunswick. 

  • Spent his youth in Carlton. Left school about 1928. Gained work in the textile industry during Depression.
  • Elected organiser for Textile Workers’ Union from late 1930s. Union delegate to Victorian Trades Hall Council (THC) and vice-president in 1945. President 1946, assistant secretary from 1947 to 1964 and secretary from 1964 until his death.
  • Member of the Australian Labor Party from about 1936. Member of executive and vice-president of the ALP’s Victorian branch.
  • ALP membership suspended for “disloyal and unworthy conduct” for a period of about 6 weeks in lead-up to elections for Trades Hall Council secretary position, 1964: the Age, 6 June 1969, reported: “Mr Jordon received a political rebuff in 1964 when he attempted to install his supporters on the State ALP Executive by running a ‘ticket’ for executive positions at the party’s annual conference, but his candidates were heavily outvoted”.
  • Resigned from ALP for a few months in protest against the Labor-Country Party State parliamentary alliance in 1950.
  • Australian Workers’ Union delegate to State Labor conference. Victorian representative of Australian Council of Trade Unions interstate executive; activities included representing ACTU at conferences in New Delhi and Tokyo; ACTU representative to International Labour Organisation conference, Geneva.
  • The Clerk in June 1969 reported “Over the past three years Mick Jordon had to withstand the determined efforts of the Left Wing to increase its representation on the Victorian THC in an endeavour to take control. As a member of the ACTU Interstate Executive and a great personal friend of Albert Monk and Harold Souter, President and Secretary of the ACTU, Mr Jordon was deeply involved in the power struggle between Left and Right for the control of the trade union movement”.
  • The Australian on 6 June 1969 described Jordan as “a strong critic of unauthorised strikes”: “I am not averse to taking direct action”, he once said, “if the stage is reached where the employer gives no opportunity to sit down and negotiate, in that case, the workers are left with no alternative and I will always defend the right to strike. But I oppose strikes which are unnecessary and of a political nature. They hinder rather than assist the legitimate aims of the workers”.
  • Provided advice and assistance to Boot Trade Union members.
  • Cause of death: myocardial infarct.

Sources
Merrifield Card Index, State Library of Victoria; Sun, 29 January 1964, 8 February 1966; Melbourne Truth, 1 February 1964 p 9; Age (Melbourne), 28 January 1964, 4 March 1964; 22 November 1966; Australian 6 June 1969; 6 June 1969; Herald, 6 June 1969; Sun, 6 June 1969, 10 June 1969; Unity, June 1969 p 4; The Clerk, June 1969.

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Citation details

'Jordan, Michael Christopher (Mick) (1913–1969)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/jordan-michael-christopher-mick-34175/text42874, accessed 13 April 2024.

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