It is with great sadness that Community has learnt of the death of Roy Evans. He passed away peacefully on December 3rd at the age of 84. Our immediate thoughts are with his family and friends.
Roy was General Secretary of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, one of Community’s predecessor unions, from 1985 to 1993.
Roy dedicated a lifetime to the labour movement, serving both his trade union and the Labour Party at the highest level.
He first joined the British Iron, Steel and Kindred Trades Association in 1951, when he worked at the Trostre works near Llanelli. He took up full-time organiser position with the union in 1964 and rose to be Assistant General Secretary in 1973.
Upon his election as General Secretary of the UK’s steel union, Roy led the workforce through one of the most challenging periods of the industry’s history, when British Steel was privatised. He modernised the union and helped thousands of steelworkers and their communities as the steel industry and the whole economy suffered under a Conservative government.
Roy was a member of the TUC’s General Council and the Labour Party’s National Executive Council and was a powerful voice against the extreme forces of Militant in the 1980s. As a passionate, pragmatic trade unionist, Roy was a key figure in helping build a Labour Party capable of returning to government and he saw the union vote overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a political fund following the Tory anti-union legislation.
He was awarded the OBE for services to the trade union movement upon his retirement. Roy spent his retirement in Hertfordshire and is survived by his wife Brenda, three children and seven grandchildren.
His funeral takes place at 2pm, 16 December 2015 at West Herts Crematorium, High Elms Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire WD25 0JS. Family has requested no flowers and instead donations to either Cancer Research or British Heart Foundation.