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Tribute To Moss Evans

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11 August, 2005ICEM News release No. 5/2002

Moss Evans, an outstanding leader of the British and international trade union movements, died in England on 12 January at the age of 76.

He was born into an impoverished Welsh mining family which later moved to the industrial city of Birmingham in search of work. There, the young Moss Evans took a series of industrial jobs and soon became involved in trade unionism. By 1951, he was a shop steward, and in 1956 he became a full-time district union officer. In 1966, he moved to the London headquarters of the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), where he consecutively led its sections for engineering, oil and chemicals and the motor industry. He was elected as the T&G General Secretary in 1978.

An active internationalist, Moss Evans was from 1983 to 1986 the President of the ICEF, a forerunner of the present-day International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). With great skill, he guided the International through the most difficult period of its history, and the ICEM owes much of its strength to his dedication and foresight.

Throughout his retirement, he maintained a lively interest in the ICEM and its campaigns. In November 1999, he was a guest of honour at the ICEM World Congress in Durban, South Africa, where he took part in the Unite And Organise march held by delegates from ICEM unions worldwide. (Our photo was taken at that rally).

ICEM General Secretary Fred Higgs comments: "Having known Moss Evans ever since we were officers of the same union, and having served under his leadership at the T&G, I know he was a giant in terms of his ability as a trade union leader. He was always great company and support for all of those around him and he will be sorely missed by his family, his friends and the whole of the trade union movement."