Frances O’Grady says people at work need the TUC to speak up for them in the face of austerity policies


Frances O’Grady is to take over from Brendan Barber as TUC general secretary when he retires at the end of the year.

Ms O’Grady, who is the TUC’s current Deputy General Secretary, was the only candidate nominated by unions and will become General Secretary Designate at the 144th Congress in Brighton this September after which she will become the first female general secretary.

Frances 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 last 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.

“Brendan has been a great servant of the TUC, well-respected both within and beyond our ranks, and he leaves a firm foundation on which to build.”

The 52-year-old worked for the TGWU, campaigning for equal pay and the national minimum wage, before joining the TUC in 1994.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, said: “Unite welcomes the appointment of Frances both as an overdue recognition that our movement needs women in the front ranks of leadership and because she is a passionate and principled trade unionist.

“I know Frances will be a persuasive voice for ordinary working people and will stand up for trade union values in the face of an increasingly hostile government.  We look forward to working closely with her in building a strong, united and campaigning trade union movement.”

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