Luc Cortebeeck, President of the Confédération des Syndicats Chrétiens, is convinced that ’today more than ever before, we need strong trade unions’. Cortebeeck studied at the Sociale Hogeschool in Heverlee. He started his career in 1972 as leader of the local movement for young trade unionists in Mechelen. He later joined the national staff at the confederation, before returning to Mechelen as head of the organisation for the Mechelen area. In 1987, Luc Cortebeeck became national secretary, responsible for Flemish affairs, and he became President in 1999.
Both within and outside the Confédération des Syndicats Chrétiens, Cortebeeck enjoys a reputation as very knowledgeable on a wide range of isssues and as a strong negotiator.
According to Cortebeeck, the trade union’s role consists in preserving social achievements and improving our society, if possible through propopsals and negotiations, through actions if all else fails. A trade union must be critical and uncompromising, but always act in a positive way.
According to Luc Cortebeeck, the importance of international trade unionism can hardly be overestimated. ’All workers have a right to decent wages and decent working conditions. A free-market economy will never introduce social corrections automatically.’
Luc Cortebeeck is personnally very committed to the ILO. During the annual ILO Conference in Geneva, he acts as spokesperson for the workers’ delegation in the Committee on the Application of ILO Standards. He is also an active member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and of TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee). He is also Deputy President of the International Trade Union Conference (ITUC) since its creation in November 2006.