WILLIAMS, IESTYN RHYS (1892 - 1955), Director General Labour Relations Department, National Coal Board

Name: Iestyn Rhys Williams
Date of birth: 1892
Date of death: 1955
Spouse: Barbara Williams (née Stamp)
Spouse: Edith Ellen Williams (née Diamond)
Parent: Augustus Frederick Williams
Gender: Male
Occupation: Director General Labour Relations Department, National Coal Board
Area of activity: Business and Industry; Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: William David (Bill) Jones

Born 1892 at Cardiff, son of Augustus Frederick Williams, mining engineer, he was educated at Roath Park Elementary School. In 1913 he joined the staff of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Coalowners' Association and was appointed as chief assistant to its Secretary, Finlay A. Gibson, in 1922, and as its Assistant Secretary two years later. In 1936 he became Joint Secretary, the first Welshman to occupy such an office with this organisation.

Widely regarded as being one of the most knowledgeable figures in the coal industry of his time, he earned his greatest reputation in the field of labour relations. He was an outstanding negotiator, much respected by coalowners and union officials alike, and served as joint secretary of the South Wales Conciliation Board. He was also either secretary or a member of numerous other mining organisations, notably the South Wales Committee of the Safety in Mines Research Board. His involvement in the industry in south Wales was matched by his championing of it during the inter-war depression. He wrote numerous promotional articles in the coal trade press and was joint honorary secretary of the south Wales ‘Back to Coal’ Movement.

Following the nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947 he was appointed chief executive officer of the Labour Relations Department of the National Coal Board. Later that year he became the department's Director-General, a position he held until his retirement in June 1954.

In 1917 he married (1) Edith Ellen Diamond (died 1934) and in 1935 he married (2) Barbara Stamp. The father of three children, he died suddenly while on holiday in Cornwall on 26 August 1955.


Published date: 2001

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