Comrade George Gomez passed away on 27th of August 2016. For 90 years he had tirelessly organized workers in their struggle against capitalism, inspiring youth towards Marxism. Born in 1926, in fishing hamlet of Punnaicoyal in Tuticorin District, he was born to a time of imperialism, anti-colonial struggles and World War II. When he went to Ceylon (present day Srilanka) to work, he became an avowed Marxist and Trotskyist, working closely with socialist youth promoting the Fourth International.
When he moved to Bombay (present day Mumbai) to work in the port, he began his most defining political work with the port workers of Bombay. Here he led the workers struggle that made the workers permanent employees. Taking the lessons of this struggle, he began organizing port workers from across India, trying to establish workers’ unions in all Indian ports. He worked steadfast to develop an independent federation of port unions in India. He was also working to unionize workers in private factories including Hindustan Lever Limited. He has also been active in organizing fish workers through the Democratic Fisher and Fish Workers Union.
He was an early dissenter of Nuclear Energy and had been part of the struggle against Koodunkulam ever since its conception in Nov 1988. He has been an ardent advocate of environmental issues and supported many environmental struggles in Tamil Nadu and India. He has also served as convener of Unorganized Workers Federation and advisor to National Alliance of Peoples Movements. He remains an inspiration to many generations of socialists and political activists.
Originally published in http://tnlabour.in/news/4075