George Woodcock, 75, who was general secretary of Britian's Trade Union Congress from 1960 to 1969, died Tuesday in an Epsom, England, hospital. The cause of death was not disclosed.
During his years at the helm of Britain's labor movement. Mr. Woodcock sought to move unions away from concern with the minutia of Labor Party politics and towards a broader role in the formulation of national economic policy.
Although the idea of wage restraint was not popular with the rank and file of the TUC, Mr. Woodcock led a successful fight in 1963 to endorse the view of the National Economic Development Council -- a planning body with representatives of labor, management, and government -- that Britain needed to expand production. The corollary to this was that rises in wages would have to be slowed.
It was Mr. Woodcock's belief that British governments since 1951 had been ineffective in developing economic strategies that would allow Britain to keep her place in world markets. His views were designed to bolster the country's foreign trade position.
His unusual combination of shyness and a willingness to engage in savage attacks on those with whom he disagreed, made him less effective in achieving his goals than his admirers had hoped.
Mr. Woodcock was born in the Lancashire cottontown of Bamber Bridge. He went to work as a weaver at the age of 12 and joined the Amalgamated Weaver's Association. He won a scholoarship to Ruskin College in 1927, then went on to obtain first class honors in philosophy and political economy at Oxford University in 1933.
He was a civil servant before joining the staff of the TUC in 1936 as head of the research department. He became assistant general secretary of the TUC in 1947, a post he held until becoming general secretary.
He became a Privy Councillor to Queen Elizabeth II in 1967.