Ronald Todd (11 March 1927 – 30 April 2005), generally known as Ron Todd, was the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU), then the largest general trade union in the United Kingdom, from 1985 until 1992.

Todd was born in Walthamstow, London. His father was a stallholder in a local street market and Todd left school at the age of 14 to work in a barber's shop. He also worked as an assistant to a plumber before being conscripted into the Royal Marines in 1945. For a time he served alongside his father in the Marines and was posted to Hong Kong with 42 Commando.

After completing his national service, Todd returned to plumbing and then worked in the Ford factory in Dagenham, where he joined the TGWU. He became a shop steward in 1955 and then deputy convenor, before becoming a full-time district officer in 1962 as local officer of the TGWU's Metal, Engineering and Chemical Group. In 1969, he became the first group secretary of the Region One Vehicle Building and Automotive Trade Group. He became regional secretary for Region One (London, the Southeast and East Anglia) in 1975, before being promoted to national organiser in March 1978.

After being elected to succeed Moss Evans as the union's seventh general secretary in 1985, following a second ballot, he was also named as an honorary vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Todd earned a reputation for his commitment to human rights and was a vocal opponent of apartheid in South Africa. He was succeeded as general secretary by Bill Morris.

Ron Todd died of leukaemia, from which he had been suffering for some time.


Ron Todd Poems

Ron Todd Quotes

You don't have power if you surrender all your principles—you have office.
Ron Todd (b. 1927), British trade unionist. Quoted in Daily Telegraph (London, June 17, 1988).

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