It is with great sadness that we pass on the news of the passing of two long standing UNISON activists, Hitesh Patel and Roger Lewis.
Both of these comrades were members of long standing who served as shop stewards and branch officers over the years. They were both socialists and anti-imperialists, committed to the fight for working people and a world built on justice and soldiarity, not division and exploitation.
Hitesh died suddenly whilst receiving treatment for a long running degenerative disease. Roger died in hospital whilst recieving treatment for a recent health condion.
Many of you who worked at the Council knew them and worked with them over the years.
Roger was recently made the Joint Trade Union Side Secretary after the retirement of Jon Rogers where he co-ordinated the work of the Town Hall trade unions. He was a long standing SWP member and well known for his dedicated work around disabled people’s rights. As someone who lost the use of his sight he was acutely aware of how our society discriminates against people and was active in DPAC as well as other campaigning organisations.
UNISON will host an online memorial soon for Hitesh and Roger.
We know many of you will be saddened by these losses. Please reach out to us if you need someone to speak to and at the Council there is the Employee Assistance Programme that you can access for support.
In the words of the US folk singer and trade union supporter Joe Hill “I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time mourning. Organise!”
Roger Lewis speaking at an anti-racist demonstration and Hitesh Patel with Hassina Malik on strike over pensions