Morrissey new union leader

THE trade union of, among others, TV technical crew, BECTU, has itself a new general-secretary, following the untimely death of Roger Bolton, who, last November, lost a long battle with cancer.

Gerry Morrissey was elected unopposed.

Born in Tipperary Town, Ireland, Morrissey joined the Associated Broadcasting Staff’s union (a forerunner of BECTU) in 1977 while working as a catering buyer at the BBC.

He became Central London Catering branch chair in 1981 and chair of the Premises Services Subdivision before becoming elected onto the union’s National Executive Committee in 1983.

His industrial career began in earnest in 1988 when he became responsible for West End and regional theatres and successfully attained the position of supervisory official for the Arts & Entertainment division before returning to his BBC roots as supervisory official for the BBC in 1995.

He was appointed assistant general-secretary in 1998, a post he held until now.

Morrissey led two successful strikes at the BBC, one in 1995, over pay, job cuts and privatisations, and another two years ago. He also masterminded the first national theatre strike for 90 years, over pay in regional theatres, in 1990.