date: 17 September 2009
embargo: For immediate release
Dougie Rooney, National Officer of the Unite union, has today (Thursday) been elected as the next TUC President.
Dougie was elected this morning at a meeting of the TUC's governing body - the General Council - and takes over from Sheila Bearcroft, a lay member of the GMB, who held the post for the last 12 months.
Born and schooled in Edinburgh, Dougie left school at 16 with no qualifications. He secured an apprenticeship as a mechanical fitter with an engineering company called Feranti in Edinburgh. Dougie joined the then AU union and at 18 he became a branch official.
In 1969, after completing his apprenticeship, Dougie became a shop steward at Feranti, a senior shop steward, and finally a convener of shop stewards in 1974. He was responsible for a diverse workforce with 3,000 - mainly female - members and more than 50 shop stewards from different unions.
Dougie was the convener of shop stewards for 11 years, and during his time at the company he oversaw many challenges, including an 11 week strike over pay that was only resolved when Tony Benn MP intervened and the Government bought 50 per cent of the company bringing it back into profit. He was very active in the AU national committee, and was one of just 52 people who were setting policy for 4.5 million workers.
Dougie was elected Divisional Organiser for the amalgamated engineering unions in 1984, looking after the East side of Scotland. He also became Chair of the Scottish Labour Party's Standing Orders Committee, where he gave more than 20 years service, only stepping down last year.
In 1997 Dougie became National Officer for the then AEEU looking after the energy industry, and he kept his role as the union became part of Unite.
Commenting on his election as TUC President Dougie Rooney said: 'I'm delighted to take up this role. The TUC - especially in the recession - is the only organisation that fights for the ordinary working person. I want to advocate and strengthen its role as a forum for working people during my year as President.
'One of my main priorities will be to spend time supporting all the conferences - women's, disability, LGBT and the race conference. I want to get behind what the TUC stands for and do my best to highlight all that it can offer.'
Dougie has been a full-time union officer for nearly 25 years. He works in Hayes Court, near Bromley, but still lives in Edinburgh and returns there every weekend.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: [email protected]
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: [email protected]
Elly Brenchley T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: [email protected]
Issued: 17 September, 2009