Trade unions pay tribute to Jack Dromey

Trade unions have paid tribute to Jack Dromey, who died today.

The former deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union died at home this morning. It is understood he died of natural causes.

He was also MP for Birmingham Erdington, a treasurer for the Labour Party and married to MP and former Cainet member Harriet Harman.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady tweeted: “Devastating to lose such a champion of working people. As a trade unionist, MP and shadow minister, Jack Dromey fought for a fair deal for us all. Rest in peace my friend. Thinking of Harriet and all the family.”

TUC deputy general secretary Paul Nowak tweeted: “An incredibly talented organiser, tenacious and 100% across every brief he held as a shadow minister. Every time you met Jack, you couldn’t help but be boosted by his infectious enthusiasm. A big loss.”

TUC Midlands regional secretary Lee Barron said: “Both myself personally and all unions from across our region are shocked and devastated by the appalling news of Jack’s untimely passing.

“Jack was a towering figure who spent a lifetime campaigning for social justice, dignity and the advancement of working people.  A tireless trade unionist and politician, Jack had ferocious enthusiasm and motivation to stand up and give a voice to the voiceless. Jack’s legacy is immense.

“Since being elected to Erdington in 2010 Jack’s contribution to Birmingham has been second to none. Constantly pushing us all to be ambitious for the city, passionate in his support for Erdington and the communities of our city, Jack truly was a force of nature. Jack instinctively understood the dignity of labour. He understood that good work was a route out of poverty, and understood that working people needed to stand together in trade unions to secure advancement.

“Tonight we are filled with sadness and mourn the passing of a real trade union and Labour giant. Our thoughts, first and foremost, are with his family. Rest in peace Jack – our friend, colleague and comrade.”

POA general secretary Steve Gillan tweeted: “Terrible news that Jack Dromey MP and trade unionist has died. Deepest sympathy for his family at this sad time. A thoroughly decent man.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes tweeted: “Really sorry to hear this. Thoughts with Harriet and his family. RIP.”

ASLEF tweeted: “We are saddened to hear that Jack Dromey MP has died. Jack was a great trade unionist and hard working Member of Parliament. ASLEF sends our condolences to his family and all those who will miss him.”

Labour Unions tweeted: “Such devastating news. Jack was a stalwart of TULO, and a true champion of working people and the movement. All our thoughts are with Harriet and their family.”

The TSSA tweeted: “A terrible loss and great shock. Jack Dromey was much appreciated across the union movement. TSSA sends condolences to Jack’s family and loved ones. RIP.”

CWU general secretary Dave Ward tweeted: “Thoughts from everyone at the CWU with Joe, Harriet and all of Jack’s loved ones. Rest in Peace, Jack Dromey.”

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “I was shocked to hear of Jack’s sudden death today. Our thoughts are with his wife Harriet Harman MP and their family.

”Jack was a long-standing and dedicated campaigner in the trade union and Labour movement and a true friend of Usdaw. He was a particularly strong supporter of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign and always spoke out against abuse of shopworkers.

”I know he was touched by the experiences of our members on the frontline of retail. We will miss Jack as a colleague, friend and champion of working people.”

Unite West Midlands Politics tweeted: “We wish to express our sincere condolences to the family friends & colleagues of our dear friend @JackDromeyMP a union man to his core we will miss him #RIP”

UCU general secretary Jo Grady tweeted: “Such very sad news. Jack was a highly principled man, a staunch trade unionist, and never wavered when it came to standing up for what he knew was right. Above all else he was also incredibly lovely and warm. He will be deeply missed and my thoughts are with his loved ones.”

The UCU tweeted: “We are devastated to learn of Jack Dromey’s passing Jack was a principled politician, a kind man & an unwavering supporter of UCU, none more so than during his time as shadow pensions minister He will be deeply missed Love & condolences to Harriet & the rest of Jack’s family.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of our dear friend and comrade, Jack Dromey. On behalf of Unite, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to Harriet his wife, and their family.

“Jack dedicated his life to fighting for workers and against injustice. His dedication to the Labour movement should inspire us in today’s struggles. Jack never ever lost his searing passion when the fight for justice was at stake – when he was an organiser with the T&G and then Unite, and when he became a Labour MP.

“From standing shoulder to shoulder with the workers at Grunwick in the 1970s, to delivering legislation to defend workers from exploitative gangmasters in the 2000s, to today where Jack showed no hesitation in backing our members at GKN in their fight to save their jobs, Jack always put solidarity with workers first, all his life.

“I was personally proud to work closely with Jack for a number of years to establish the ground-breaking organising department in Unite. It stands today as a testament to his commitment to the union.

“Jack’s family can be so proud of all that he has achieved, a strident force to ensure that workers will always be heard and that those who misuse power will always be held to account. We will miss you Jack.”

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea tweeted: “So sad to hear the news of Jack Dromey’s sudden death. He was such a huge part of the trade union and Labour movement and he will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him and worked with him. My thoughts are especially with Harriet and their children.”

GMB general secretary Gary Smith tweeted: “Solidarity with the family of lifelong trade unionist and anti-racist, Jack Dromey.

“He championed GMB members during the seminal Grunwick Dispute of 1976-78.

“Always there for GMB members. RIP comrade.”

NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney tweeted: “Really shocked to hear the awful news that Jack Dromey has died. He was a real friend to the @NEUnion – and a huge campaigner on school funding building support for nursery education. Will miss you Jack. Lost too early.”

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