Acting Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Priyanca Radhakrishnan expressed her sadness and condolences at the passing of leading trade unionist Ken Douglas.
“Ken spent over 30 years fighting for the rights of workers across New Zealand. Many advancements in worker rights can be traced back to Ken’s leadership,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.
“He first served as Secretary of the Federation of Labour, then as the inaugural president of the Council of Trade Unions.
“He has not only made a significant contribution to the trade union movement in New Zealand, but is also respected within the movement worldwide.
“Ken represented the New Zealand trade union movement in a number of international union bodies. This included roles as president of both the Asia-Pacific Regional Organisation of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Centre for Trade Union Rights.
“He also contributed to the work of various committees and boards dealing with training and employment issues.
“We are all better off as a result of the hard work Ken committed his life to. Ken was honoured for this work in 1998 when he became a Member of The Order of New Zealand.
“My thoughts and aroha are with Ken’s whānau and loved ones,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.