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A skilled carpenter, Jim Hiles was a shop steward for the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers, and later the Union of Construction and Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) which the ASW merged into with others.
He had joined the Communist Party in the 1950s and was, with others, a founding member of the Liaison Committee for the Defence of Trades Unions, that was set up in the late 1960s in response to mounting attacks on trade union rights.
Hiles was secretary of the LCDTU for 17 years, during its heyday; he was appointed a full-time London regional organiser for UCATT in the early 1980s.
Source: Morning Star 12th October 1987