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Union mourns the loss of former Usdaw President Marge Carey MBE

Date: 26 January 2012 Marge Carey MBE, Usdaw President from 1997 to 2006, sadly passed away on 23 January 2012.

Marge joined Usdaw in 1972 and was appointed to the organising staff in 1978. She was promoted to Divisional Officer in February 1990. She was then elected President in 1997 and was re-elected again in 2000 and 2003. She was awarded the MBE in 1998 for her services to industrial relations and held a number of senior positions in the Labour Party and TUC. She retired from the Union's staff in October 2001 after 23 years' service.

General Secretary John Hannett paid tribute to his long time friend.

"Marge has a record second to none. She carried out her role as president with the authority to command respect from activists, the membership and the Union's staff with her impartiality and her ability to understand the members' issues. I have lost count of the number of Union Activists who have personally paid tribute to her.

"Her skill at chairing the ADM and EC meetings was an extremely important factor and she understood fully what was required of her presidential role.

"Marge was an inspiration to Union Activists and carried out all her roles with honesty and integrity.

"Marge may have been small in stature but she made a big impression on both Usdaw and the labour movement and she will be missed by the many hundreds of people whose lives she touched."

Messages of condolence will be posted on this page - you can send your message online.


Rest in peace Marge.
love Angela Terry Alicia and of cause ollie x

Will really miss you marge my friend and neighbour who will i go to now for advice. R I P.
E. Bailey

I have heard that Marge Carey has passed away. She was a great woman and will be greatly missed in the labour movement. Please accept my condolences and those of our union members.
St Helens College

We knew Marg as a very valuable member of Huyton & Prescot golf club, her sense of humour prevailed to the end. She will be sadly missed.
J & R Lynch

Marge was a true trade unionist she was a little lady who cast a giant shadow. We in the pools have fond memories of the good and bad times in the pools, how she kept the branch together through the fight against the lottery, the support and leadership was second to none. She was a true friend to the pools. I feel so proud to have called her a friend. Rest in peace Marge.
K. Davies

Will be sadly missed by all who knew her at Huyton & Prescot Golf Club.
Huyton & Prescot Golf Club

I was a colleague and close friend of Marge Carey for almost 40 years and never met a more impressive woman. She was a dedicated official who loved Usdaw and cared deeply for her members. Having met her first when she was a bolshie Shop Steward at Vernons Pools, Liverpool and seen her progression as Area Organiser - then promoted to the position of Divisional Officer for the North Western Division where she brought the division into national prominence. Finally to her election as President - a role she performed for 9 years with integrity and professionalism.

We both served on the TUC General Council where she was both liked and respected and she took on many positions in The Labour Party, including the important Conference Arrangements Committee. She was highly regarded throughout the Labour Movement and wherever she went she enhanced the reputation of Usdaw. A champion for Women's rights without being a tick box feminist.

Rest in peace dear friend and your memory will live on in Usdaw forever.
B. Connor

I have known her and worked with her for over 20 years. She demanded, deserved and got a lot of respect. When I think about the training stuff we did together, we worked hard but there was always time for humour. I am sad at her passing but she leaves me with a lot of fond memories.
D. McMonnies, Head of Merseyside Trade Union Education Unit

A great lady, we sat together on the TUC General Council and we had fun together. What a fighter for working people, a brilliant ambassador for Usdaw.
Jeannie (Baroness Drake)

I have just learnt about the sad death of Marge Carey and would like to send my condolences to her family and friends. I first met Marge in 1995 when I was a Shop Steward and sat on the Divisional Council in the South West. She was a real trade unionist and many peoples life's have been enhanced and made better because of her hard work and perseverance. She also had a brilliant sense of humour, but never shirked responsibility.

The world will be a sadder place without her. But she is most probably up above making sure that H&S regulations are being abided by and that the National Minimum Wage is being paid!!!

Rest in peace Marge.
B. Denning

Marge was my friend and colleague for over 30 years. She inspired thousands of women activists and we worked together in the '80s to train women reps to get the skills and confidence to get on in the union-Marge wasn't a gatekeeper ,she was generous and  wanted to open the doors so that as many women as possible could make their mark. She was a grafter, a fighter, confident in her opinions and firm in her beliefs. She was a great laugh too and dedicated to Jacqui and Vic-she adored them. 

I was so pleased to be able to meet up with her over the last couple of years when she was so courageous, always with a comment about the politics of the day and just as interested in her beloved Usdaw.
L. Smith

In 1974 I met a young lady called Marge Carey, who as an Area Organiser introduced myself and my work colleague to Usdaw. She set up what was then B50 Branch and as we went from strength to strength so did Marge.

She proved by example that through hard work and dedication any member can rise through our ranks to the top job. She worked tirelessly at promoting Usdaw and soon became our Divisional Officer and eventually President, a position she held until her retirement after which the Branch duly endorsed her as our Chair.

To me she was one of Usdaw's brightest lights and although that light has now gone she will be remembered with fondness and respect.
M. Baxter, K050.

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