In 2004, Roy Rickhuss was elected as Assistant General Secretary of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation. The title was changed to National Officer following the merger with the Knitwear Footwear and Apparel Trades Union (KFAT) that formed Community.
In 2013, Roy was elected as Community’s General Secretary and was re-elected unopposed for a second term in 2018. Under his leadership, while continuing to represent members in traditional sectors, the union has continued to diversify, including reaching out to self-employed workers, looking at new ways to organise workers in the platform economy and extending representation to workers in financial services.
Roy has been at the forefront of changes in the UK steel industry over the past ten years as the industry has needed to work together to meet the challenges of the steel crisis Roy was elected to the General Council of the TUC in 2014. He is also a member of the Executive Council of IndustriALL the global industrial union federation as well as its sister organisation IndustriALL Europe. In the 2019 New Year honours Roy was awarded a CBE for services to the steel industry.