Arthur Richard Akers
COHSE General secretary 1967 - 1969
Arthur Richard Akers or “Dick “ as he was commonly known was born in 1904 in
He was employed as a boy clerk in the telegraph office at Barking station (he first joined a union in 1919) but became a steward on transatlantic liners. He later became a valet to a rich family in
After being refused a work permit for the States he returned in 1930, later taking up “temporary” employment at
While at Goodmayes he was schooled in trade unionism by Joe Soley the Mental Hospital & institutional workers Union Branch secretary. (The Goodmayes branch of the National Asylum Workers Union was established in 1913 and recognition followed in 1919)
He became branch secretary at Goodmayes hospital in 1944 and was appointed COHSE Regional Secretary in 1947.
He was active in organising the famous Trafalgar square (and Hyde Park) 1,000 strong student nurse demonstration of
he was appointed a COHSE national Officer and in 1962 was elected by a large majority and on a 58% turnout Assistant General secretary.
He was credited in 1964 of securing the passage of a resolution calling for the “nationalization” of the Ambulance service at TUC congress. NUPE and other being opposed because it was under Local authority control.
In 1966 he was elected General secretary on the retirement of Jack Jepson, once again beating frank Lynch in the process. Taking up post on
He lived in Carlshalton,
“his cheerful disposition and sharp cockney wit are allied to a sound common sense, which makes him a shrewd Whitley negotiator and entertaining platform speaker” according to the COHSE Journal of January 1962.
retired as COHSE General Secretary June 1969.