REDDITCH Labour has paid tribute to the life and work of Jack Dromey MP, who sadly passed away on Friday (7 January) at the age of 73.
Bill Hartnett, former leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Dromey.
“Jack visited Redditch on many occasions, and it was always a pleasure to meet him. He was a kind and gentle man.
“I particularly recall his visit to Walton Close in Winyates when he was Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government. At the time I was Chair of Redditch Co-operative Homes. He came to see our new wooden eco-home development and took time to visit a family in one of the properties.
“Jack is a great loss and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his widow Harriet Harman MP, all his family and also with former councillor Mark Shurmer, who was Jack’s personal assistant and case worker for more than ten years. This is a very sad day indeed.”
Mr Dromey had been MP for Birmingham Erdington since May 2010, but he was equally well known for his distinguished career as a trade unionist, rising to be the deputy general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU).
He first came to prominence at the time of the Grunwick strike of 1976-77, when he organised the campaign against the company, which became one of the major industrial disputes of the 1970s. His championing of a predominantly female and ethnic minority workforce was not typical at that time, and he deserved considerable credit for doing so.
He was later involved in many other industrial campaigns to improve people’s pay and conditions at work.
Within the Labour Party, he was also Party Treasurer prior to becoming an MP.
In his years in Parliament, he served as Labour’s spokesperson on Housing and Pensions while representing Erdington.