by James Ingle
The labor movement in North Florida has lost a long time ally.
All those who fight for the rights of working people have lost a great friend and ally. Matthew Christopher Marsh worked tirelessly for decades in the local labor movement. He spent his life trying to make things better for others. He did this quietly, without public recognition or fanfare.
Matthew graduated from the University of California, Riverside and then dedicated his career to the Social Security Administration, where, as a Claims Representative, he served and assisted the public in filing for their benefits. He told me stories of tracking down rural families in Appalachia making sure they got the benefits they were entitled to.
Matthew advocated for his co-workers in tireless and dedicated efforts as an officer and representative of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). He was a charter member of Local 4056 and served as the Local Executive Vice President, Local Treasurer, and eventually Florida State Council President. He was involved in the local Central Labor Council for decades. He was heavily involved in the local democratic party and was a part of innumerable campaigns, always with an eye towards working class issues.
Matthew recently passed away. He died before he reached his retirement, and never got to enjoy the benefits he worked so hard to ensure others received . His passing will not receive the attention it deserves, there will be no streets or foundations named for Matt. His memory will be honored by the fact that working people’s lives will continue to be better because of efforts he made and fights he was a part of.
Farewell, brother, may you rest in a well- deserved peace.