Marco Giordano, who died in June, worked for the TUC as a chef de partie. A popular and well-liked member of the TUC’s Congress Centre team, he worked for three years as a temp in the TUC kitchen before taking up a permanent position in July 2019 but was diagnosed with cancer early in 2020.
Dennis Hill, who died in July, served on the TUC General Council in 1992. He was the Yorkshire Ridings branch secretary of print union Sogat, which became part of the Graphical, Paper and Media Union (GPMU) in 1991.
Fred Jarvis CBE, who died in June, was NUT general secretary from 1975 to 1989 and a member of the TUC General Council from 1974 to 1988, serving as Congress President in 1986–87. One of the leading trade unionists of his generation, he was a passionate and effective campaigner for education rights for all. Born into a working-class family in East London, he saw active service during the Normandy landings.
After the war, he studied at Liverpool and Oxford universities, becoming President of the NUS and helping to run the successful campaign for student grants. He joined the NUT in 1955 as assistant secretary, becoming head of publicity and public relations in 1959, one of the first such roles in the trade union movement.
After successfully championing comprehensive schools and the raising of the school leaving age, he won a substantial pay rise for teachers soon after assuming the union’s top job. During the 1980s, he was involved in a long-running pay dispute with the Thatcher government, which saw a series of strikes. After retirement, through his New Visions for Education group, he continued to campaign for the interests of schools, teachers and young people. A keen photographer and West Ham United supporter, he was also active in the Franco-British Council and the National Youth Theatre. In 2013, the Times Educational Supplement awarded him its first Lifetime Service to Education award, and two years later he was awarded a CBE.
Bandula Kothalawala, who died in December, was a lifelong trade unionist and internationalist who worked for the TUC for 27 years. A former student at the Sorbonne in Paris and a fluent French speaker, he joined the TUC’s Economic Department in July 1989. He spent most of his time at the TUC in the International Department as a policy officer, and was closely involved in our work with Commonwealth trade unions and African unions, and union work combatting HIV-AIDS. He also supported the work of TUC Aid, including providing assistance to workers in South Asia affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Seán McGovern, who died in May, was co-chair of the TUC’s disabled workers’ committee and served on the TUC General Council as its disability lead from 2011 until 2020. An inspirational figure in Unite and the wider trade union movement, he was a passionate, principled champion of disabled people. Formerly chair of Unite’s national disabled members’ committee, he was active in his region, London & Eastern, and was disability officer for the London Labour Party. Always well-briefed and a regular speaker at Congress, he fought tirelessly for disabled workers’ rights from grassroots to government.
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