I first met Derek in the mid 1970s when he had just been elected the SLADE & PW’s officer for the Midlands. (SLADE was the union which organised artists, designers, engravers etc.
He attended a meeting with the North West SLADE officer at the Stockport Express, where I was the FOC, over an inter union dispute over who could use Letraset – between NGA compositors and SLADE artists. (Its true, deadly serious and I still know the deal!).
Derek became Regional Secretary of the Midlands region of NGA after SLADE merged with NGA in 1982. We became good friends when I was elected an NGA EC member and eventually elected Regional Secretary of the NGA in the North West.
When the GPMU was formed by a merger of SOGAT and NGA in 1982 Derek became an Industrial Officer.
Importantly Derek was also one of the first TUC Organizing Academy coaches, (along with Peter Ellis), responsible for the development of trainee organisers in the union and we worked together in the GPMU when I was DGS to develop the strategy both in the union and within the TUC.
Derek lead the way with the GPMU’s organising strategy, training young people to work as dedicated organisers, handling CAC cases and negotiations with employers.
Derek was also chair of the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee in the early 1990s.
He was a great trade unionist, who believed in the power of union organising workers into a union, especially young people.
The details of the funeral are as follows:
Venue: Counties Crematorium, Northampton, Towcester Road, Milton Malsor, Northampton NN4 9RN
Time & date: 2.45pm on Monday 14th July and afterwards at the nearby Holiday Inn.
Please pass this email onto any friends or colleagues that knew Derek. Derek’s widow has requested that those hoping to attend, should please notify Peter Ellis as soon as possible, by email, on email@example.com, so that she can have an idea how many to cater for at the Holiday Inn.