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Leadership Issues at ITUC Continue

Paul Jennings | 29.01.2015 13:39 | Migration | Repression | Workers' Movements | Birmingham | Sheffield

ITUC and ILO employee describes double standards at ITUC and ILO. The leadership of these organizations are accused of putting their own interests before those of the workers that they are supposed to help. The ex employee is especially critical of Sharan Burrow.

Sharan Burrow the current leader of the ITUC, a member organization of the ILO, was the former President of the ATUC. Australia's trade union congress. In 2006 she authorised an anti-Howard campaign. John Howard was Australian Prime Minister from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. Burrow had anti-Howard leaflets printed, presumably at the cost of the ATUC, and placed in the mail boxes of 200 ILO members. This was a breach of ILO protocol which as an International organisation tries to rise above domestic politics so that it can work with all Governments around the World for the sake of workers.

Critics believe that Sharan Burrow is most focused on her own career beyond that of any of the workers she is supposed to help. Indeed it is thought that Sharan is planning to enter politics in Australia when she finally steps down as ITUC President. Her plan is thought to be to head back to Australia in 2016 when Liberal Party leader Tony Abbot comes to the end of his first term in power.

This sense has led to criticism that Ms Burrows prefers to show-boat on the back of issues that grab Media headlines rather than to drill into the real needs of workers especially migrant workers in South East Asia. This was highlighted in the recent attacks on Qatar which seemed unfair to many Indian workers and their families who are desperate for the jobs offered by countries such as Qatar. They argue that working conditions are the same as those that they experienced in the UAE if not better. Yet there was little criticism of UAE. Ms Burrows and her colleagues seem desperate to cut the projects being funded in the Middle East in places such as Qatar, one of the few countries still growing following the reduction in oil prices. Thousands of very poor people and their families will unfortunately suffer if Ms Burrows succeeds. But maybe she doesn't care as long as she gets a few more headlines to boost her political plans.

Paul Jennings


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  1. Explain the acronyms — Alex