On the day that the TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has announced that he is retiring at the end of 2012. Jerry Hicks is urging people to join him in his call for all 6 million TUC union members to directly elect the next one.
Jerry Hicks commented "The person who becomes the next TUC General Secretary has the potential to effect the lives of not just the trade union members of the TUC, but the lives of everyone for the better. But that depends on who it is, what they will prioritise and what they will fight for".
However, the TUC and its constituent unions have a history of selecting ‘from within their own ranks’ which far from guarantees someone with the sort of workplace background, who would understand the everyday stresses and pressures as an ordinary member. Indeed Brendan Barber’s own press release states that he’s worked for the TUC since 1975, most of his working life.
Jerry Hicks said "I’m sure that the vast majority of workers would like to know that one of their leaders had the same experience as themselves, and why not even be on the same sort of wages. It might give them a better reality check, particularly when leading on disputes such as the public sector pensions struggle".
With workers facing unprecedented cuts to their pay, pensions and conditions from the Con-Dem Government and employers, with 3 million people registered unemployed, 1 million of which are under the age of 25, with the pension age rising ever higher and pensions values falling. The position of TUC General Secretary has never in its history been more important. Jerry Hicks, who came runner up in the last election for the Unite Union General Secretary on an uncompromising platform said " Trade Unionists deserve more from the TUC and stronger leadership, but above all we the members should decide who gets the job". The employed and unemployed, pensioners and students, we are at a watershed moment. If we were to inspire a fraction of these millions to organise and fight, we would be unbeatable.