Martin Jenkinson

MARTIN JENKINSON, who died this week at 64 after a short illness, will be fondly remembered and missed by all trade union colleagues but especially by photographers. He was the quintessential photographers' photographer. He served at all levels of the NUJ, including the Freelance Industrial Council and the National Executive Council, and was a key negotiator back in the days when we had freelance agreements with national newspapers and magazines groups throughout the union.

He was also a member of the old analogue Wiring Committee, with the NGA (National Graphical Association - the printers' union). This predated new technology, e-mail and digitalisation. He went on to be involved in the founding of NUJnet, the initiative between the NUJ and BECTU to offer members email - before the internet.

Martin sat on a number of outside photographic groups and helped to improve relations between professional portrait and advertising photographers and editorial photographers.

I was proud to call him a friend and served with him on a number of union bodies. My fondest memories were meeting up in a good bar with other photographers and Martin holding court usually while smoking a large cigar talking about motorbikes, music, trade unions and his love - photography.

He was not one for flowery speeches at public conferences. He believed in looking at problems that needed to be solved, joining negotiations to get better deals, and improving pay and conditions for freelancers. He was always a font of knowledge and advice for younger members and photographers.

Many NUJ members would recognise him from his conference photography at Annual Delegate Meetings: he also covered the TUC and worked for many other trade unions.

Phil Sutcliffe adds: "I remember Martin's work when he was on FIC back in the '80s (poss thru to early '90s, I'm not sure) and he always put his back into it, was a consciously strong rep. for both photography and the North. He was one of the earliest to be aware that copyright was about to become far more important and controversial for us than in living memory.

Last modified: 16 Jun 2012 - © 2012 contributors
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