Sunday 9 July 2017

Happy 90th birthday Ron Webster - ATUC and Unite celebrate a great ambassador of the trade union movement

The ATUC and Unite held a celebration at the Aberdeen  Unite Office on 26th May  for Ron Webster on his 90th birthday.

Ron Webster
Ron is a long standing ATUC delegate, Labour and Trade Union activist of considerable standing within Aberdeen, Scotland and Internationally.

He represented Scottish Trades Councils for many years on the STUC General Council serving both as Vice-President and President of the STUC.

It was in his role as STUC  Vice-President that he had the pleasure of meeting Fidel Castro on a visit to Cuba.

He has also recently celebrated over 60 years Trade Union  membership having originally been a member of the NUVB (National Union of Vehicle Builders) which them merged with TGWU and in the  last few years then merged to form Unite.

The celebration for Ron was very well attended by Trade Unionists and Labour Politicians  with  glowing tributes from the City Council’s Lord Provost, Councillor Barney Crocket, Unite Regional Secretary , Pat Rafferty, and Grahame Smith,  STUC General Secretary.

Tommy Campbell pays tribute to Ron
Pat Rafferty wrote, "On behalf of Unite in Scotland I want to wish Ron all the very best in celebrating his 90th birthday – I particularly want to thank Ron for all he has done for the trade union movement, and indeed the wider labour movement, over what would have been some very difficult years.

"If were not for the likes of Ron standing up and fighting back on behalf of our class, then we would not be in the position we are today – Thatcher would have got her way and wiped us out. Our generation owes a debt of gratitude to Ron and it is for us now to carry on the struggle, standing up for what we believe in, learning from our history, and from people like Ron who gave us that opportunity."

Grahame Smith sent Ronnie the best wishes of all at the STUC and added, "It was great to see him at this year’s Congress in Aviemore, once again demonstrating his interest in and commitment to the work of the STUC. 
Cutting the birthday cake
"Throughout my time at the STUC, Ronnie has been unwavering in his support for me and my other STUC colleagues and has our outmost respect and affection. As a member of the General Council and, of course, as STUC President in 1989, he made a tremendous contribution to the work of the STUC over many years, ensuring, in particular, that the voice of the Trades Union Council’s and ‘grassroots’ union activists and members was heard and influenced our strategy and priorities.  
"He was, and remains, a great ambassador for Unite and for the wider trade union movement"

Paying tribute to Ron, Tommy Campbell said, "We fully  recognise the outstanding contribution Ron has made to campaigning for Trade Union rights as part of the struggle to fight to  improve the lives of working class people not only here in Aberdeen but Internationally as well. He has always been a vocal opponent of racism and fascism by promoting hope instead of hate."

We all wish Ron the very best on the occasion of his 90th birthday and we look forward to working with Ron in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Aberdeen TUC next year.