Labour Research (May 2012)

Union news

Barber to retire

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber is to retire around the end of this year after a decade at the helm. A successor will be chosen at this September’s annual Congress.

Barber has worked at the TUC since 1975 and became general secretary in 2003 when predecessor John Monks left to become general secretary of the European TUC. He had previously been the number two for 10 years.

In his 10 years at the top, Barber has overseen the launch of the TUC’s learning and skills operation, Unionlearn, organised the half million strong March for the Alternative in March 2011 and co-ordinated the negotiations and industrial action over public service pensions last year.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said: “Brendan has been a tremendous servant to the union movement in a truly testing period.”

Affiliates now have until 9 July to make a nomination for his successor, with an election, if required, at Congress in September.

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