It is with sadness that we must report the passing of Mike Perkins, lifelong trade unionist and member of the branch. Chris O’Neill, Chair of the Retired Members Section, writes:
“For many years he was a Unison steward and amongst other positions he was Secretary of Southampton and SW Hants Trades Council, a Branch Committee member of Hampshire Unison and Secretary of Hampshire Unison retired Members Section. Further he was Treasurer of Hants Association of Trades Councils.
Mike was an unflinching champion of what needed to be said and done to further the work of the trade union movement. In recognition of his contribution to trade unionism he was awarded the silver badge by the TUC.
A friend and supporter of so many people, he will be missed.”
Trade Unionist and Hampshire UNISON branch member Rhian Dolby remembers:
“We spent several happy years together doing night classes at Southampton City College with Alan Fraser. Firstly we achieved the TUC Diploma in Trade Union Studies. Then we went on to study and achieve the BTEC in Professional Development: Trade Union Studies. Both of these courses involved three hours study every Tuesday evening (one year for the first course and two years for the second). Tuesday study evenings always ended up with a trip to the pub for a chat.
These evenings fill me with very fond memories of Mike and his sense of fun and breadth of knowledge. Mike was also very kind and used to give me a lift home after the pub. We also spent time together on residential courses for Southampton City College courses and away at UNISON NDC. I did attend Southampton Trades Council when I lived in Southampton and he was a great force there. I know they will miss him greatly.
He was a committed to grass roots representation and was campaigning right to the end. Since stopping being active in the union I have not seen Mike in person, but we kept in touch by post. I will miss him very much.”
Glyn Oliver and Bobby Noyes of Southampton and South West Hampshire Trades Council said that “Mike was a stalwart of Southampton Trades Council for many, many years. He knew the rules and was a stickler – as he should be as secretary. Though he knew the bureaucracy he was a good leftie who was always first to propose support for those in struggle. He is a real loss to the movement.”