We held our Biennial General Council Meeting last week from 14th-16th May and although we bid a fond farewell to the UK’s longest serving General Secretary, Doug Nicholls, we also welcomed a new GFTU President, Sarah Woolley (General Secretary of BFAWU) and a new General Secretary of GFTU, Gawain Little.
Sarah Woolley, incoming GFTU President, said, “It is an absolute privilege and honour to be the incoming President, at what is such an exciting time for the GFTU. I am really excited about the possibilities of the education programme in this new digital world, with all the tech we now have in our classrooms.
“Our unions represent members in different sectors, we will have different views on things, but we can and must learn from each other, support each other and remember that we must never lose our collectivism.
“Working through how we build on the fantastic young members development programme, building our community links, organising and educating in new ways, is going to be an integral part of our movement’s growth. GFTU should and will be the leading organisation in this growth, and the organisation that affiliates, and others, come to for inspiration and action.”
Gawain Little, incoming GFTU General Secretary, said, “Our trade union movement faces very real challenges. We are experiencing a cost of living crisis, our public services have been systematically underfunded and fragmented, and Britain’s manufacturing industry, the heart of our productive economy, has been decimated.
“But the past year has shown that we are no longer willing to sit back and take this. There is huge anger out there and it is the job of the trade union movement to express that anger and turn it into an alternative economic policy and a genuine strategy for change.
“To do that, we need to strengthen our movement.
“This is where the role of the General Federation of Trade Unions is crucial. Our core mission of education, solidarity and unity in action puts us at the heart of renewal for the trade union movement.”
We thank all that attended the BGCM and hope to see you at the next one in 2025.