The Scottish Trades Unions Congress has announced that Rozanne Foyer is to replace Grahame Smith as its General Secretary. Foyer will be the first woman to hold the position, the most senior representative of Scotland’s 540,000 trade union members, in the organisation’s 123 year history. She will take up the post when Grahame Smith retires later this year.
Commenting on Rozanne Foyer’s appointment, Jackson Cullinane, STUC President, said:
“We are thrilled to secure a trade unionist of Roz’s calibre. She started working life on the shop floor, experiencing the worst of low pay and exploitation, and has gone on to excel as an industrial and political leader. Wherever she has been, she has fought and won victories for working class people. Rozanne represents the best of our movement, and we’re delighted that we’ve secured a winner for Scottish workers.”
Commenting on her appointment, Rozanne Foyer said:
“I have a huge loyalty to the STUC and I’m passionate about the role it must continue to play in making Scotland a better country to live and to work in. One of my best memories is being given the opportunity as a young STUC delegate to open the STUC’s Centenary Congress with Mick McGahey. He talked about the STUC’s contribution and all the challenges the unions had faced over the past century. I talked about the contribution we would make in the coming century.
“I am under no illusions about the huge task lying ahead. Workers today face major challenges like in-work poverty, casualisation, automation and climate change. The re-election of a Conservative Government in Westminster is not good news for Scotland’s workers and trade unionism has never been more relevant or necessary. I want to build on our traditions by ensuring that we maximise the visibility, relevance and influence of trade unions in all Scotland’s workplaces. Our movement must reach out, collectivise and empower Scotland’s working people with the knowledge they need to win on the major issues that affect them.
Outgoing General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
"I’m delighted that Rozanne will succeed me as STUC General Secretary. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with her for over 20 years and I know she has the passion, commitment and ability we need to lead the STUC in addressing the many challenges and opportunities faced by unions, workers and their communities. Rozanne will be an inspiring first female General Secretary of the STUC.”
Rozanne Foyer has twenty-five years’ experience in the trade union movement. She began as a workplace activist in the Benefits Agency. After leading a successful campaign against support services privatisation, she was recruited by the printer workers union as a trainee organiser, before gaining prominence in the Scottish movement as an Assistant Secretary at the STUC. She went on to become a National Officer with the Transport and General Workers Union, later moving into Unite’s National Organising Department. She excelled as a strategist who delivered a series of successful membership campaigns.
Her connection with the STUC goes back more than twenty years. She is a former Chair of the STUC Youth Committee, and a member of the STUC General Council. When employed as an Assistant Secretary she became an established voice in Scottish politics and the media.
Rozanne’s appointment will mean that all of the trade union Centres in Britain and Ireland will be led by women, with Frances O’Grady as the General Secretary of the TUC; Patricia King as General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions and Shavanah Taj, recently announced as the acting Secretary of the Wales TUC.
ENDS For further details contact Dave Moxham 07891026870