Joe Rawlins joined the Communist Party in 1920 and helped set up the Birkenhead branch, staying a member until his death in 1978. Chair of the Birkenhead branch of the National Union of Foundryworkers, he was victimised at Gordon-Alison’s Ltd.
The blacklist and the recession resulted in his being unemployed for 18 years, during which time he was a leading activist for the National Union of Unemployed Workers, first setting up a local branch in 1922.
During the major struggles of the unemployed in 1932, Rawlins became the leader of an intense mass movement in the Birkenhead area.
Sources: Morning Star 5th January 1989; Stephen Kelly “Idle hands, clenched fists” Spokesman (1988)