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British & Irish Residents
Frances O'Grady to become union movement's first female general secretary -
"Frances O'Grady has been elected unopposed as the TUC's first female general secretary. O'Grady will become general secretary designate at the TUC Congress in Brighton in September and take over the reins from Brendan Barber when he retires at the end of the year after 10 years at the helm. O'Grady described her appointment as a "great honour" and vowed to use her position to ensure the TUC continued to speak up for working people. It is the second time she has made trade union history, having been elected as the union umbrella body's first deputy general secretary in 2003. "Never has a strong, responsible trade union movement been so needed," she said. "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." O'Grady was the only candidate nominated by unions – with 32 of the 54 affiliated unions putting her name forward. During her tenure as deputy, she 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 government's health reforms. Widely seen as an effective negotiator and public speaker, the 52-year-old has been an active trade unionist and campaigner all her working life having first joined a trade union while still a schoolgirl doing part-time jobs. A graduate in politics and modern history, O'Grady first worked in the charity sector before beginning full-time work at the Transport and General Workers' Union from 1989, where she worked on campaigns to stop the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board and for the introduction of a national minimum wage. In 1994 she was appointed TUC campaigns...
Honestly - I look forward to when this sort of thing just isn't news -
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