Thursday, May 25, 2023

John Mac retires as Branch Secretary of UNISON Tower Hamlets LG branch

I was sent this link to the latest "Tower Power" newsletter by retired Tower Hamlets Housing UNISON comrade (Montrose Matty). John Mac was the branch chair for most of the time I was a member of the branch and my first job in Tower Hamlets was in 1993 at the Columbia Road One Stop Shop in Bethnal Green, where I was a estate officer and John did housing benefits. 

Later I moved to Bow as a Housing officer and became active in the union and was an Assistant Branch Secretary (as well as various other roles such as Labour Link officer, health & safety and treasurer)

Now, those who know us recognise that John Mac and I did not always see "eye to eye" on a number of things, including the need to have an imminent revolution and that revolution is likely to start any time soon in Tower Hamlets Local Government. But I have always accepted that I might be wrong.

However, John was an excellent union case worker and despite our differences we almost always had a polite and good humoured relationship. We worked together during the 1999 month long (successful) Tower Hamlets housing strike, we went on a three peaks walking challenge together and  had a beer in a House of Commons bar, bought by the then, local MP Jim Fitzpatrick. 

I wish John and his partner Phoebe, all the best in their retirement and will miss our sparing in  London regional council and National Delegate conference. 

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