Annie Tynan was appointed the Shop Workers Union NAUSAW&C's (now USDAW) first woman organiser in 1911.
Surprisingly she didn't come from a retail background but had received a firm grounding in trade unionism with the Amalgamated Society of Telephone Employees. Working as a telephone operator in Manchester she had, at a very early age, become a branch secretary and then Executive Councillor.
She learned about the NAUSAW&C when she heard John Turner speak at the TUC and followed the Union's work through the pages of The Shop Assistant.
Her buoyant temperament and great sense of humour attracted many other women to the movement.
The Amalgamated Society of Telephone Employees was formed in 1909 by the
merger of the National Society of Telephone Employees with the National
Association of Telephone Operators. In 1915 it merged with the Post
Office Engineering and Stores Association to form the Post Office
Amalgamated Engineering and Stores Association, the forerunner of the
Post Office Engineering Union.