A veteran trade unionist has died.
Dave Ellis, a well-known member of UNISON and caretaker of Kirklees College, passed away aged 69 at Kirkwood Hospice after a battle with oesophagus cancer.
A staunch socialist and long-time Labour Party member, he was a former worker and AUEW union activist at David Brown’s for over 20 years, before moving to the college, where he became its chief UNISON steward.
He represented 200 members, also held the post of chair of Unison’s national further education committee and was still working full-time when he died.
In the 1970s he fought the National Front, notably coming face to face with them in the old Sparrow Park near the current Huddersfield bus station and led campaigns both that decade and in the 1980s in the AUEW for trade union and socialist ideals.
He was known as “Mr Unison” at the college.
Remembering him, Paul Holmes, Kirklees UNISON branch secretary, said: “I’ve never met a more principled person.
“He attended a national union conference in Brighton only two weeks ago, although visibly ill.
“Of all the conferences, meetings and negotiations he went to, he never claimed a penny in expenses. He would travel on overnight buses to London so as to save on hotel bills.
“Dave was extremely generous, always showing consideration to members who fell on hard times.
“If the member didn’t qualify for a UNISON payment, he would organise a collection or pay them some money out of his own pocket.
“He was the type of socialist and trade unionist who inspires UNISON members as he always sought to improve the lot of working people.
“Dave combined a stubbornness, compassion and care which earned the admiration of members.
“He was proud to be a trade unionist, socialist and Yorkshire man.”
“He will be sorely missed and can never be replaced.”