- Roger Lyons
Roger Lyons ,died 14 September 1942, was the
General Secretaryof the MSF trade union from 1992 and re-elected leader of the union in 1997. When the union merged with the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union to form Amicusin 2002 he subsequently became one of the Joint General Secretaries of Amicus.
Lyons studied for a degree in Economics at
University College London. His union career began in 1966 as a full time union official for the North West Englandregion of ASSET, one of the unions which later became ASTMS. In 1970 he became a National Officer of ASTMS and in 1987 Assistant General Secretary. In 1988, ASTMS merged with TASS to form MSF.
In 1992 Lyons became General Secretary of MSF. He was re-elected to that position in 1997 by 67% of the members voting (turnout was 12%).
Lyons was the first General Secretary of a major trade union to be removed from office by the
Trades Union Certification Officer: Under the agreement to form Amicus, Lyons became Joint General Secretary of Amicus's MSF section. Amicus's other Joint General Secretary was Derek Simpson, who was responsible for the AEEU section. Lyons planned to remain as JGS of Amicus until September 2007, which would result in his being a General Secretary for more than the legally-mandated limit of five years or 6 allowing for the extra year granted in a new union merger. A legal challenge resulted in a ruling [http://www.certoffice.org/decisions/pdf/D3.04.pdf] in May 2004 that he should "cease forthwith to hold office as Joint General Secretary of Amicus". Lyons was therefore forced to leave over two years before he planned to and Derek Simpson became the sole General Secretary seven months early.
After the North Sea Piper Alpha disaster in which 167 men died, Lyons gave evidence to the Cullen Inquiry which led to new safety legislation to protect off-shore workers. [http://www.ukooa.co.uk/issues/health/faq.htm]
Lyons was a founder member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and nominated Nelson Mandela for his first international honour as honorary president of University College London Union. Roger Lyons also organised the first ever South African Scholarship in a British university (UCL). Lyons was an observer for the European Union in the first ever free elections in South Africa.
Roger Lyons was President of the
Trades Union Congressfor the period September 2003 to September 2004, after which he retired. During this time he visited Israel and Palestine in November 2003 on behalf ot the TUC [http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-7781-f0.cfm] . In February 2004 he took part in a fact-finding visit to Colombiaorganised by Justice for Colombia [http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/Images/Delegations%20pix/Feb2004%20delegation/Feb2004.htm] .
Roger Lyons is a long-standing member of the Trade Union Friends of Israel. He addressed a TUFI fringe meeting at the 2005 Congress of the
Trades Union Congress.
Within trade union circles, Roger Lyons is a well known
* [http://www.chemistry.org.uk/index.php?mid=4&cid=36 Chemistry Leadership Council biography of Lyons]
* [http://www.rogerlyons.com www.rogerlyons.com] A web site set up by Lyons' opponents
* [http://www.personneltoday.com/Articles/2004/09/14/25524/Lyons+retires+from+the+TUC+den.htm Interview and biography at Personnel Today]
* [http://www.tufi.org.uk Trade Union Friends of Israel]
* [http://www.justiceforcolombia.org/ Justice for Colombia]
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