Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Tributes pour in for Goodleigh

Published:Tuesday | December 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Lloyd Goodleigh

Lloyd Goodleigh was yesterday hailed as a stalwart of the trade union movement and friend to the People's National Party (PNP).

Goodleigh, who was in his mid-70s, died yesterday at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston.

He was a former general secretary of National Workers' Union (NWU), a fraternal arm of the PNP; a president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU); headed the secretariat for the new Labour Market Reform Commission; and was president of the Caribbean Congress of Labour.

"Comrade Goodleigh's unstinting efforts on behalf of the workers of Jamaica are renowned locally, regionally and internationally," said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who is also PNP president.

Simpson Miller said he was a leading light of brilliance and erudition in the Jamaican trade union movement.

"Jamaica has lost a brilliant nation builder and a passionate advocate for workers' rights with his passing," she said in a statement.

The prime minister noted that up to the time of his passing, Goodleigh had remained an integral part of Jamaica's initiative to transform labour productivity and generate economic growth and development as head of the Labour Market Reform Commission.

She said Goodleigh, a former government senator, was an active member of the National Partnership for Jamaica Council and, on December 3, submitted an inspiring and encouraging update on the work of the Labour Market Reform Commission as a central part of the deliberations of the most recent meeting of the Partnership Council.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of this outstanding Jamaican," said Simpson Miller. "He constantly and unequivocally articulated a vision that placed education, training and improved worker productivity and engagement as a central pillar of national development and economic growth."

She said Goodleigh's brilliance, foresight, passion and commitment to Jamaica and to the development of the Jamaican worker would be missed.

Champion of workers' rights

In his tribute, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said: "Lloyd Goodleigh dedicated his life to providing selfless and distinguished service to the labour movement in Jamaica, and did so in a most admirable manner."

Added Holness: "He was a passionate and avid champion of workers' rights and used his skills as a negotiator to expand opportunities to workers, secure better working conditions, and promote their well-being. A more formidable and compelling voice at the negotiating table one could hardly find."

Dr Fenton Ferguson, minister of labour and social security, said Goodleigh was an unrelenting supporter of the principle of tripartism, "a fundamental tenet of the ILO in which Government, employers' organisations and workers organisations strive together in dialogue and cooperation to foster sustainable economic development and social progress".

Goodleigh is the fourth leading trade unionist to have died since the start of the year.

The NWU's Clive Dobson and Roosevelt Turner, as well as Trade Union Congress head Hopeton Caven, passed away in 2015.

Goodleigh was also a fine youth athlete, captaining Calabar High School's athletics and Manning Cup football teams in the late 1950s.