Today United Workers Union and the union movement are mourning the loss of Simon Crean who died suddenly whilst in Europe on Sunday, aged 74.
Simon was President of the ACTU from 1985 to 1990 and went on to be elected to Federal Parliament, becoming the leader of the Labor Party between 2001 and 2003. Simon remained dedicated to the people over a long political career, serving as a cabinet minister during the governments of Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard.
Before he was ACTU President, Simon was a modernising leader of the Federated Storemen and Packers’ Union of Australia (FSPU) that formed part of the DNA of the National Union of Workers (NUW), which has now become the United Workers Union (UWU).
Simon was a leader that stood by his values and convictions. As Labor leader in opposition, he took a principled stand against the Iraq war, opposing Australian participation when the United States chose to invade Iraq in March 2003.
Comments attributable to Tim Kennedy, National Secretary, United Workers Union:
“Simon was born and bred into the labour movement and devoted his life to the cause of working people.
“From his leadership standing alongside the wool store workers of North Melbourne and Kensington, and the establishment of Australia’s Superannuation system, to representing the movement as a leader of the ACTU and then as a parliamentary representative of Labor, Simon was fierce and focused in advancing the cause of Labor.
“Simon Crean remained a staunch supporter of our Union and the members that stand together every day to improve the lives of workers everywhere.
“He will be missed as one of the significant leaders of our Union, then known as the FSPU.
“His passing comes as a real shock to comrades in the labour movement and our condolences go out to his wife Carole and the whole Crean family.
“Simon’s legacy will live on in the heart of our Union. Rest in Power. Vale Simon Crean.”
Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]