Murray replaces the T&G’s previous comms chief Karen Livingstone, who quit in July to take up the position of part-time director of communications at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.
Murray refused to comment on his appointment beyond confirming that he was now in charge of the union’s ten-strong communications team. He reports to T&G general secretary Tony Woodley, who was elected leader of the union earlier this year.
Woodley, who took over from Bill Morris last month, has been described as a member of the ‘awkward squad’ of recently elected left-wing union leaders who favour more confrontational tactics when dealing with industry and government.
In June, the T&G considered cutting its funding of the Labour Party by 25 per cent, a proposed protest at the Government’s failure to adopt EU labour laws. The proposal was not adopted at the union’s Brighton conference.
Murray’s former boss at ASLEF, the union’s left-wing ex-general-secretary, Mick Rix, is also acknowledged to belong to this group. The Union’s present general-secretary, Shaun Brady, defeated Rix in elections for the position earlier this year.
Murray left his position as the rail union’s sole PRO only days before Brady was due to take up the new position (PRWeek, 24 October).
Murray’s appointment marks a return to the T&G after a seven-year absence. He has previously worked for the union as a media officer.
This week, T&G announced a second 48-hour walkout of baggage handlers and check-in staff at Heathrow starting on 14 November. Staff working for Swissport International are striking over pay and claims that management walked out of talks last week.