TUC nominates Bernadette Segol
ETUC General Secretary elections
The TUC has nominated Bernadette Segol to be the next General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The ETUC Executive Committee will decide in December who should succeed John Monks, who retires at the ETUC Congress in Athens next May.
Bernadette Segol is currently the Regional Secretary of UNI Europa, a sectoral confederation bringing together unions in the private services sector, from banking to telecommunications, with 330 affiliated trade unions and 7 million members.
Born in Luzech, a village in the South-West of France, Bernadette has a Masters in Philosophy from Toulouse University. She has worked in the international and European trade union movement since 1974. She took up her current post when UNI was created out of a merger of three sectoral confederations in 2000.
If elected, Bernadette will be the first woman General Secretary of the ETUC, which was founded in 1973 and now has 60 million members across the EU, EFTA and EU candidate countries. She would also become the General Secretary of the Pan-European Regional Council of the ITUC, which stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Under her leadership, UNI Europa took a leading role in campaigning to ensure the Services Directive did not undermine workers' rights, campaigned for the Temporary Agency Workers Directive, and established over 200 European Works Councils giving workers a voice in Europe's major multinational companies.
Commenting on the current wave of austerity and neo-liberalism sweeping Europe, Bernadette said: 'Budgetary deficits must be dealt with; but a short-sighted, short-term belt tightening policy, as it is implemented now in most countries, will prevent the return to growth. Governments are too quick in switching from exit strategies to strict austerity measures. In many EU countries tax policies have to change: the very rich must contribute much more to the re-balancing of the economies.'
Issued: 28 October, 2010