Ken Douglas outside the old Trade Hall building on Vivian Street in Wellington. (Document photo)
Thousands have said goodbye to New Zealand’s most famous trade union leader. Ken Douglas.
Known as “Red Ken,” Douglas led the union movement from 1979 to 1999, first as trade union secretary and then as the first president of the Trade Union Council.he died last Wednesday at the age of 86.
In 1998, Douglas was awarded membership in New Zealand’s highest honor, the Order of New Zealand.
A memorial service is being held at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, north of Wellington, on Monday.
* A Proud Member Undaunted by Robert Muldoon
* Significant changes to how Porirua city council members are elected are subject to talks
* Four new recruits inducted into the Porirua Hall of Fame, including All Blacks’ Perenara and chocolate maker Whitaker
* Trade Hall bombing still not justified
* Union Movement Must Adapt to Survive
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker and Trade Union Council President Richard Wagstaff are among those delivering the tributes.
The show epitomizes labor activist Joe Hill’s quote “Don’t mourn, organize”, a widely used slogan for the political left.
He has played an important role in the union movement not only in this country but around the world, including his role as President of both the Asia-Pacific Regional Organization of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Center for Trade Union Rights.
He served on the Capital & Coast District Health Board for nine years beginning in 2001 and was a highly sought-after company director.
His positions included tenure on the boards of Air New Zealand, New Zealand Post and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Douglas had a long association with sports and was a member of the Titahi Golf Club and the Porirua Softball Club.
He was also a member of Titahi Bay Rugby Club (now Northern United) where he was a player, coach and member of the governing board.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/129922747/dont-mourn-organise-wellknown-trade-union-leader-ken-douglas-farewelled.html ‘Don’t mourn, organize’: Prominent union leader Ken Douglas bids farewell