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Mike Cooley

Irish engineer and trade union leader

Mike Cooley is ...


Born 23 March 1934 in Tuam
Died 4 September 2020
Age 86 years, 6 months

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship Ireland
Birth name Michael Joseph Edward Cooley
Occupation engineer, writer and trade unionist
Awards Right Livelihood Award

About Mike Cooley

Mike Cooley: The Irish Engineer and Trade Union Leader Who Fought for Workers' Rights

Mike Cooley was born on March 23, 1934, in Ireland. He grew up in a working-class family and went on to become one of the most influential trade union leaders and engineers of his time. Cooley was a man who fought tirelessly for workers' rights and was not afraid to speak out against injustice.

Cooley's career began in the 1950s when he started working as an engineer in the British aerospace industry. He quickly became involved in the trade union movement and was elected as a shop steward. Cooley's dedication to workers' rights led him to become a full-time trade union official in the 1960s.

In 1971, Cooley was appointed as the General Secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU), one of the largest trade unions in the UK. During his time as General Secretary, Cooley fought for better working conditions, higher wages, and improved job security for workers. He also campaigned for equal pay for women and was a vocal opponent of apartheid in South Africa.

Cooley's influence extended beyond the UK. He was a founding member of the European Trade Union Confederation and played a key role in the development of the International Metalworkers' Federation. Cooley was also a member of the Labour Party and served as a Member of Parliament for East Ham South from 1983 to 1992.

Throughout his career, Cooley remained committed to the principles of social justice and workers' rights. He was a passionate advocate for the working class and believed that trade unions had a vital role to play in protecting workers' interests. Cooley's legacy continues to inspire trade unionists and activists around the world.


- "Mike Cooley: Trade union leader and engineer who fought for workers' rights." The Independent.

- "Mike Cooley." The Guardian.

- "Mike Cooley: The engineer who fought for workers' rights." BBC News.

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