New leadership for Commonwealth trade unions

A new leadership team was elected for the first time at the Commonwealth Trade Union Group (CTUG) annual meeting attended by 64 trade union leaders in the fringes of the ILO Conference in Geneva on 9 June.

President Zahoor Awan from PWF Pakistan is one of five ILO Governing Body workers’ group members on the new steering group of the CTUG, the others being Vice Presidents Francis Atwoli from COTU Kenya and Toni Moore, BWU Barbados; as well as regional representatives for the Pacific, Felix Anthony from FTUC Fiji and for Europe and Canada, Lily Chang (CLC Canada).

Other Vice Presidents elected at the meeting are Mary Liew, SNTUC Singapore; Michele O’Neil, ACTU Australia; and Harbhajan Sidhu Singh, HMS India. East Africa TUC Executive Secretary Khamati Mugalla was elected as East Africa representative, along with Jozef Bujega of GWU Malta. Further regional steering group members will be elected later. Owen Tudor was agreed as Secretary of the CTUG.

The annual meeting, the first held at the ILO Conference in person since the COVID pandemic, agreed to present a collective voice to the discussions on cases from Commonwealth countries Cameroon, Gabon and the UK before the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards. It was also agreed to call on Commonwealth country governments to back the ILO programme and budget for 2024-2025 proposed by the ILO Governing Body.

The meeting heard from trade unionists in eSwatini and Mauritius about the problems facing them, and looked ahead to the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will be held in Samoa.