TRADE unionists yesterday chose Frances O’Grady to be the first female leader of their umbrella body.
O’Grady, 52, will succeed Brendan Barber as general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) when he retires in December.
The TUC’s current deputy general secretary was the only candidate nominated by unions and will become general secretary designate at the TUC’s congress in Brighton in September.
O’Grady said: “This is a great honour. Never has a strong responsible trade union movement been so needed.
“With austerity policies biting hard and with no evidence that they are working, people at work need the TUC to speak up for them now more than ever.
“We must be the advocates of the growth and jobs alternative, and with the policy prescriptions of the past 30 years increasingly discredited, we have the best opportunity in a generation to help build a fair, productive and green economy that works for ordinary people.”
O’Grady became the TUC’s first deputy general secretary in 2003 and has led a wide range of policy areas, including trade union recruitment and organisation, inter-union relations, services to members, and the campaign against the UK government’s health reforms.
John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, said: “I’m sure Frances will provide the union movement with strong leadership in challenging times.
“In my dealings with Frances, I have always found her to be a powerful advocate for fairness, opportunity, and the modern workplace.”
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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