It is with the utmost sadness that I must advise that our friend and colleague Mr Ed Sabisky died yesterday (Sunday, March 1) in hospital following his stroke ten days ago.

At this tragic time our thoughts are first of all with his wife Kate, their children and the rest of their family. Unite will offer them every support within our power.

We also repeat the family's fervent wish for privacy at this time and request that the media do not seek to contact Ed's family, friends or associates.

Ed has been Unite’s Executive Finance Director throughout its history, and previously held the same position in the T&G. Under his stewardship we have built a financially strong and sound union with the resources to provide the support and services our members need. An enormous deficit that Unite inherited at birth has been entirely eliminated, we have built up by far the largest dispute fund in the trade union movement, and a nearly insolvent pension fund has been turned around to the benefit of past, present and future employees. Ed also restored our Eastbourne centre to financial health and played a key role in major property projects, our new Birmingham building above all.

However, a list of Ed’s professional achievements do not begin to do justice, on their own, to the man. He was a pillar of decency and personal integrity, a kind colleague, wise counsellor and talented executive who determined to put his skills at the service of trade unionism because he shared our values.

Every one of us at Unite will miss Ed. He leaves the largest hole in our operations and our lives.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary

ENDS