May 23, 2009 / 1:19 PM / 9 years ago

Former trade union leader Ken Gill dies

LONDON (Reuters) - Former trade union leader Ken Gill has died at the age of 81, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) said on Saturday.

A committed communist, he served as TUC president between 1985 and 1986, a year after the defeat of a miner’s strike that closed a chapter on mass industrial action in Britain.

He had become general secretary of the white collar TASS union in 1974 and went on to be joint general secretary of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union in 1988, before retiring in 1992.

“Ken Gill was a big figure in the trade union movement, during turbulent times,” said TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber. “Always a champion of the left he fought his corner with a steely integrity. He was a great internationalist and anti-racism campaigner.”

Reporting by Tim Castle

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