Professor John Gennard R.I.P.

I am very sad to report the death this week of a good friend, comrade, trade union tutor, author and researcher Professor John Gennard, Professor of Human Resource Management at Strathclyde University.  John had been ill for some time. He passed away on January 11th.

Many print trade unionists will remember John with great fondness. He tutored training courses for FOC’s and MOC’s and union reps in the NGA, GPMU and later in Amicus. He was the author of the published histories of the print unions, the National Graphical Association, the Society of Graphical & Allied Trades and the Graphical, Paper & Media Union.

He also produced, for Amicus (now Unite), the definitive work on two centuries of Print and Papermaking Trade Unionism in the UK and Ireland. This work greatly contributed to the development of the ‘Printers Archive’, the permanent exhibition of the history of Print Trade Unions at the Marx Memorial Library in London.

John’s most recently published work was his history of the Scottish print employers organisation Graphic Enterprise Scotland (previously the Scottish Print Employers Federation) called ‘Mechanical to Digital Printing In Scotland’

He also edited for ten years ‘Employee Relations’ a journal which published articles on collective bargaining and employee and employer representation. During his editorship he placed the journal at the forefront of debates and discussions in human resource management and industrial relations and developed the journal’s International Editorial Advisory Board.

John’s areas of expertise included graphical unions and co-ordinated national and transnational bargaining and the role of human resource managers in strategic decision making. He was also a member of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration (ACAS) Panel of Independent Arbitrators.

John gave great assistance to the International Trade Union Movement in the printing industry, working as a tutor and a researcher for the International Graphical Federation and later Uni Graphical.

He researched and prepared an annual survey of pay and conditions across the EU printing industry for Uni Europa Graphical and published a large number of specialist reports and documents on industrial relations

John was a great friend to the printing unions across Europe. He was respected by members and officials alike so much so that he was awarded the Gold Badge of the National Graphical Association.

Born in Manchester in 1944, John was also a dedicated Manchester United supporter, renowned for his detailed knowledge of the history of the club and its players.

Tributes paid to John Gennard

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4 Responses to Professor John Gennard R.I.P.

  1. Liz Elkind says:

    I had the privilege of working closely with John Gennard some years ago when we were two thirds of a panel investigating the employment practices of an educational institution. John had become a respected figure in the field of Human Resources, in fact was Dean of Human Resources at Strathclyde University so he was appointed to represent that area while I was nominated by the STUC to represent the interests of the unions. I don’t think those who appointed us knew John’s print industry and trade union background but his outstanding academic credentials and experience of similar consultancies made him an obvious choice.

    John’s knowledge of and commitment to employment rights and good employment policies and practices was an education and an inspiration to me in carrying out a challenging and politically difficult task. His good humour and his integrity made him a great comrade and colleague. I’m extremely sorry personally to learn of his death and I know he is a great loss to our movement.

  2. I am proud to say that John was my friend and my comrade. Together with him and others we won a global agreement in Quebecor. His research was so god, help us so much that gave us a key tool to challenge the company. By dear John, you will be with us forever.
    Adriana Rosenzvaig
    Head-UNI Strategic Campaigns and Organizing

  3. Donny and Liz Greenhill says:

    John was a lovely friend to Donny and I for 25 years. We have so many memories of many social events with Anne and John over the years. We will miss his positive attitude to life. Our daughter attended Strathclyde University and studied Human Resource Management and she appreciated the great knowledge that John held in this subject. We are just so sorry that he never got to meet our first grandchild Calum. John was very kind to our son Colin and understood him so well. Colin is so sad at John’s passing. Donny will miss the great chats he had over the years about Motherwell FC and will miss his great company. John was a wonderful person and we will miss him dearly. RIP John x

  4. Malcolm fox says:

    I first me John gennard as a studetnt on the trade union studies course at the LSE in 1972. I lived in the north east England and John knew I was short of money as I was married with 2 young children at home. John and his wife arranged for me to go to their home, then they brought me to middlesbrough in their car, he would not take any money. Through him I got thethe chance to study as a mature student & gained my honours degree in economics.
    I feel so sad to hear the sad news albeit very late
    Thank you John for you everything you have done for me

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