Gene Mealy has today (Thursday, 14th December) retired from his position as SIPTU Vice President, following a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council. Following the meeting, the outgoing SIPTU Vice President thanked the many SIPTU members, activists and staff from across the private, public and community sector with whom he has worked over the course of his career. An active trade unionist all of his working life Gene has played a central role in establishing SIPTU as an organising union, building density and industrial leverage in key employments and industries.  As the Vice-Chairperson of the Public Services Committee of ICTU Gene also played a key role in negotiating a series of public sector pay agreements which protected public service jobs from outsourcing. Recent agreements cleared a pathway towards full pay restoration for SIPTU members in the public service. During the union’s restructuring, Gene emphasised the central role of shop stewards, activists and members and other colleagues with whom he has worked in the wider trade union movement. A new national executive officer board led by SIPTU General Secretary, Joe O’Flynn and including General Secretary Designate, Joe Cunningham, Deputy General Secretary for the Private Sector, Gerry McCormack, Deputy General Secretary for the Public Service, John King and Deputy General Secretary for Organising and Membership Development, Ethel Buckley have now assumed the leadership of the union.