Reacting to the passing of former Labour First Minister Rhodri Morgan, Margaret Thomas, UNISON Cymru/Wales regional secretary said,
“Like everyone in the Labour Party and trade union movement across Wales, UNISON members are in shock at the passing of Rhodri Morgan. We remember him affectionately, as a decent man, an authentic, clever politician who spoke frankly and passionately. Rhodri’s ability to immediately connect with people was the reason he was so widely trusted.
“At a critical time in the early years of devolution, he stood up for Wales against Westminster, marking out our territory and defining the parameters of Welsh powers. We benefit from those gains he won today. He maintained socialist principles at a difficult time in coalition government and with good grace.
“Rhodri was a very good friend to UNISON and public service staff; practically that meant intervening in favour of low paid employees in dispute and, because of his background at the Workers’ Educational Association, he proudly supported our trade union learning programme over many years and working class education.
“He was instantly recognisable. People will remember him today with warmth and a smile. We send fond best wishes to Rhodri’s wife, Julie and his family.”