The ICFTU Executive Board meeting in Brussels today appointed Guy Ryder as the new ICFTU Acting General Secretary. Ryder succeeds Bill Jordan who announced his retirement earlier this year for health reasons. The ICFTU Executive Board paid tribute to Jordan’s leadership and recognized that the profile of the ICFTU had changed significantly during Jordan’s tenureship .
Ryder’s experience comes through his earlier work with the TUC in the UK, FIET, one of the international trade union federations, the ICFTU Geneva office and the International Labour Organization as the ILO Director General’s Chef du Cabinet.
In his speech to the Executive Board Ryder stressed the need to build inclusive alliances build around the values and principles of the labour movement and pointed to the need to mobilize our own members around those values. Ryder confirmed that effective lobbying was only possible if supported by a determined and global mobilization of the millions of union members ICFTU affiliates represent. Strengthening that capacity would feature high in his early agenda.
Ryder takes over the helm of an international union body facing the first global recession of recent times in a world feeling more insecure than ever. With already declining membership in many industrialized countries ICFTU affiliates and the organization itself faces many challenges and Ryder also made it clear that recruitment and organizing must always lie at the heart of all the ICFTU and its affiliates did.