TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady is to step down at the end of this year after almost a decade at the helm of the trade union body.
O’Grady has been general secretary since January 2013 and was the first woman to hold the post.
She joined the TUC in 1994 as campaigns secretary and became head of the TUC’s organisation department in 1999. She was elected as deputy general secretary in 2003, a position she remained in until former general secretary Sir Brendan Barber departed the organisation.
O’Grady has led many of the TUC’s campaigns, which in recent years have included a push for stronger employee legal rights to flexibility, reforms to statutory sick pay legislation, and government action on the rising cost of living and the “class divide” that has emerged during the pandemic.
Her successor will be elected at the TUC Congress, the body’s annual conference, in September.
Frances O’Grady said: “Leading the TUC has been the greatest honour of my life. It has been a privilege to serve the trade union movement.
Unions are a force for good in British society. I am proud of what we achieved during the pandemic – from securing furlough, to keeping people safe at work, championing equality, and keeping vital services running.”
“Unions are a force for good in British society. I am proud of what we achieved during the pandemic – from securing furlough, to keeping people safe at work, championing equality, and keeping vital services running. And I’m proud of the work we do every day protecting workers’ jobs, pay, rights and working conditions.
“The last decade has been turbulent – with three general elections, two anti-trade union bills, an EU referendum and a pandemic to contend with. But on every occasion unions have risen to the challenge and fought for working people.
“I want to place on record my huge thanks to all union reps and officers – you are the lifeblood of our movement. I’m delighted to be stepping down at a time when the trade union movement is growing. There has never been a more important time to be a member of a trade union.”