Wednesday, May 30, 2012


GENEVA (ILO news) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has elected Guy Ryder as its tenth Director-General. Ryder, who is currently the ILO’s Executive Director for International Labour Standards and Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, was elected by secret ballot by the ILO’s Governing Body. He will begin his five-year term in October 2012.

“I am really excited about this chance: this is a tremendous opportunity, in the middle of this global crisis, to make a difference to the lives of millions of people, including those who've never heard of the ILO, to change their lives for the better”, said the Director-General elect. “I thank the Governing Body for their confidence. The significance of what happened here today will be judged by what we do, and that is to put the people and the world of work at the heart of everything we do.”

Guy Rider worked from1998 until 2002  as assitant director and director at the ICFTU Office in Geneva. From 2002 until 2006 he was General Secretary of the ICFTU. At the merger of the  ICFTU with the WCL in 2006 he became Secretary General of the ITUC. In 2010 he became Executive Director of the ILO office in Geneva.

This is what the ITUC says on Guy Riders’ election as Director General of the ILO:

Former ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder has been elected to the top post of the International Labour Organisation. He will take over from incumbent Juan Somavia, who leaves the post in September after 13 years at the helm of the UN agency.
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said "The ILO has made the right choice to lead it in tackling the huge challenges in the world of work in the coming years. With his background in the trade union movement, and the ILO itself, Guy Ryder’s wide and practical experience, and his clear sense of the direction needed, put the ILO in a very strong position. The world needs a massive focus on creating decent jobs, and we are confident that he will generate the momentum required to put employment and the rights of working people at the heart of the international economy."

This what the ETUC says:

“ETUC welcomes election of Guy Rider as ILO Director General
Following the election of Guy Ryder as International Labor Organisation (ILO) Director General, ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol said: “At a time when fundamental rights at work are under attack in many European countries we look forward to the ILO redoubling its efforts to ensure that the crisis is not used as an excuse to disregard internationally agreed standards. Guy Ryder has always been a convinced proponent of social dialogue and he is clearly the right person to lead on the international stage for fairness and decent work for all”.

From 1985 – 1988 Guy Rider was Secretary of the Industry Trade Section of the International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees (FIET now UNI), Geneva.

This is what UNI’s General Secretary Philip Jennings says:

UNI Global Union says Guy Ryder election, as the tenth Director-General of the ILO, is the right choice to take the organisation forward and will build on the legacy of the current Director-General Juan Somavia who has made jobs and justice a focal point in both the UN system and the G20.
Jennings said, “The bottom line is that Guy Ryder understands that the jobs challenge and social justice are paramount to getting us out of the global crisis. UNI and the other global union federations will stand shoulder to shoulder with the ILO and take that message to the G20 next month.”

Jennings added, “At UNI we are delighted, not only for Guy who I have known professionally and personally for more that thirty years, but also for global workforce who can rely on his dedication to fighting their corner. Guy is the first union leader to be elected as head of the ILO. This is an historic step for our movement. He will build on the astute work of Juan Somavia who has conscientiously repositioned the ILO as focal point of the new global institutional architecture.”

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