Britain’s union movement loses a giant
The current General Secretary of UNISON Dave Prentis led heartfelt messages of condolences after the announcement today that his predecessor, Rodney “Bick” Bickerstaffe, had died.
Rodney Bickerstaffe will be remembered as the man who made fought and won right for a minimum wage in the UK.
Prentiss remembering his friend said, “When asked what he believed his greatest achievements were, he would respond: the National Minimum Wage and the creation of UNISON. I’m sure many of us recall the powerful speeches and advocacy he provided to deliver these goals. Rodney was at his best when he was fighting for the causes he believed in, and our movement has today lost one of the greatest campaigners and orators of his generation.
“Everyone involved in our union will share in the grief felt at Rodney’s passing. He was a friend, a comrade and a leader, and thanks to his work the lives of countless people have been changed for the better.”
UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings paid a warm tribute to Rodney Bickerstaffe on behalf of UNI’s 20 million members.
Jennings said, “I have fond memories of Bick who always called me, ‘Young-un’, even into my fifties! He was a special man and a great leader. We need his type of courage today because the union movement that he loved faces serious challenges in the UK and elsewhere. He will remain an inspiration and we send our sincere condolences to his family.”