On Friday 31 March 2023 GMB Scotland welcomed the families of Cathy Murphy and Franny McNeill to Fountain House. Cathy and Franny were true giants of the trade union movement but due to the restrictions of the past two years GMB Scotland had been unable; until now, to show their families just how much they were loved and respected by all who had known them.
Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland Secretary, Jim Lennox, GMB Scotland President and GMB Scotland Committee members, were joined by Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary who presented the families with Certificates of Merit and framed photographs of the memorial bench dedicated to Cathy and Franny in the Workers Memorial Garden, Glasgow Green.
Cathy Murphy was a lifelong activist who sat for more than three decades as a prominent member of the GMB union’s executive council. She was never afraid to stand up to the boss or to fight to defend democracy and decency in the union and played a leading role on the National Committee for Asda workers, fighting for better pay and conditions for women in the workplace. Cathy was the first recipient of GMB Union’s Eleanor Marx Award and in 2016 Cathy was awarded the STUC’s Meritorious Award for Women.
Franny McNeill worked at BAE Systems Shipbuilders at Scotstoun on the Clyde. He was a GMB shop steward of his department for 37 years, chairman of the yard and shop stewards committee member until he retired. Franny continued to serve the union as a Branch Secretary, GMB Scotland Committee Member, GMB Scotland Council and Congress Delegate for the last 30 years. He was also passionate about football, in particular Pollok Juniors FC, where he held senior positions on their committee and was described by many as “Mr Pollok”.