Good To Meet You…Con Keegan

Name: Con Keegan

Job: Retired Youth Officer. Currently a local councillor for Crumpsall, North Manchester.

How long have you been a member of the union?
I have been a union member for over 40 years. I was chair of the Manchester Branch of the Community & Youth Workers’ Union when we led the move to amalgamate with the then NALGO union about 25 years ago!

What do you like about your role in UNISON?
I have found it really helpful to have a working relationship with colleagues in Unison as a councillor. It does mean that Manchester has a constant dialogue with the workforce at all levels. This has been particularly helpful in working through issues such as The Skills Pledge and m people.

Whereabouts do you live?

Where would you want to live?
Anywhere but Hebden Bridge.

Best thing about UNISON?
The best thing about Unison or any trade union, in my opinion, is the opportunity to come together as comrades and colleagues: debating, discussing and taking action with likeminded people, not just about workforce issues but across the political spectrum.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Vanity… and supporting City {! – Ed.}.

What superpower would you like?
Mind reading.

Who or what is your inspiration?
My dad – a lorry-driving trade unionist and ex-Japanese POW.

If you were Prime Minister, what would you do first?
Put the kettle on and scrap Trident.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
Making lard from pigs’ stomachs.

What’s your ideal job?
Left wing for United.

Favourite holiday destination?

Favourite film?

Favourite drink?
Holt’s bitter.

Football club?
Manchester United.

What was your best day at work?
26 May 1999.

What was your worst day at work?
The last one.

Why do unions matter?
They matter even more than ever as pay, conditions, pensions and jobs are under threat. The ability of unions to bring workers together for collective action is a unique strength which cannot be underestimated. One feature of union life that I regret has been diluted is the educational aspects, particularly in the large manufacturing industries. Previously, young people acquired values for life, about equality, social justice and fairness which contributed to a healthy and civilised society.

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