Material submitted to Enfield Gazette, and used as background for the article on John by Ruth McKee which appeared in the Enfield Gazette on 7 March 2012.
John Chopping, who died on 25 February, was a well-known trade-union and political activist in Enfield in the 1970s and 1980s.
Born in 1938, John went to work at the Thorn Electrical Industries factory [which became Thorn EMI in 1979] in Lincoln Road in the early seventies. He soon became a Transport and General Workers shop steward, and for a time was convenor. Along with Yolanda Williams he was involved in producing Thorn Workers News, a rank and file bulletin for Thorn workers.
Originally a Labour Party member, John was strongly opposed to the Labour government’s “Social Contract”, which he saw as an attack on working people, and in 1978 he joined the Socialist Workers Party, of which he remained a member for the rest of life. In the 1980s he was very active in support of other trade unionists, notably during the miners’ strike [1984‑1985] and the News International dispute at Wapping, where he joined demonstrations.
He was made redundant from Thorns in the early 1990s, and moved to Margate. But he never lost his passion for social justice. He became active in a local campaign to defend asylum seekers and refugees, and helped to run a weekly drop-in centre for refugees. He will be remembered by his many friends from Enfield.