Sharan Burrow – the world’s top trade unionist
Here in Vancouver, the TUC has cheered on the election of the first ever woman General Secretary of the world trade union movement, Australian teachers’ leader Sharan Burrow. I’m never certain we should get any praise for getting “the first” woman anything any more, but Sharan is an outstanding trade unionist – I’ve seen her in hand to hand combat with other trade unionists and also with Gordon Brown, when he was Prime Minister. Tributes are falling in from all over the world, with Australia first in line!
In another step forward, 40% of the General Council members of the world trade union movement, the ITUC, are women, but there is more to do. The TUC is doing its bit: Brendan Barber and Sally Hunt are the UK’s members (with Diana Holland as chair or the women’s committee) and two of our three alternates (Gail Cartmail, Gloria Mills and Owen Tudor, with Patricia McKeown as Ireland’s alternate), are women.
Owen Tudor is Head of the TUC’s European Union and International Relations Department