Many comrades and trade unionists will be saddened to hear of the death of Edna Greenwood (Fallows) aged 64. It came just ten days after her marriage to her long-standing GMB union colleague, Tommy Fallows.
A factory worker in Barnoldswick, Edna became politicised during the mid-1980s by the Silentnight and miners’ strikes.
An active member of the GMB she believed in the wider political role of trade unionism, especially about equality, anti-racism and gay rights.
She was a member of the GMB national race committee and was instrumental in persuading her union to back the Anti Nazi League.
Moving steadily leftwards she joined the Socialist Workers Party in 1993 after attending the Marxism festival.
Much of her energy was directed at fighting fascism, and she was a founder member of Pendle United Against Fascism.
When her ex-sister in law, Maureen Stowe, was elected to Burnley council for the British National Party (BNP), Edna helped her see what a mistake this was.
Maureen resigned from the BNP, attacking it publicly.
Edna was the chair of Pendle Trades Council for many years and extremely active in her trade union.
In recognition of her work on women’s equality, she was awarded the GMB president’s award in 2010 as the union’s “most inspirational individual”. GMB officials travelled to see Edna in hospital to make the award.
It sat proudly on the windowsill next to her bed.
Though politically very courageous, she was nervous about making speeches—needlessly, for she was inspirational, speaking straight from the heart.
Both passionate and kind, Edna made a real difference, and she will be much missed.