MARIA EXALL/PAULINE ROURKE
As you may be aware, it was announced at this year’s TUC Congress that Maria Exall has been elected to the position of President of the TUC for the coming year. She will also chair the TUC’s general council and executive committee.
Maria has been a CWU member and an active trade unionist for over 40 years. Having previously worked as a care worker and in mental health, Maria joined the CWU as a telecommunications engineer in 1988 and quickly became an active rep.
A member of the CWU National Executive Council for fourteen years, Maria has consistently championed women in the union and actively campaigned for more women to be recruited into engineering roles.
Maria has also been an active political campaigner and currently serves as the vice-chair of Labour Unions (TULO)– the liaison organisation between the Labour Party and the Labour-affiliated trade unions, as well as being a dedicated Labour activist.
In addition to being the first out LGBT+ President of the TUC, Maria has been tirelessly campaigning for the rights of the LGBT+ community for decades and chairs the TUC LGBT+ committee, representing this caucus on the TUC general council and executive committee.
In addition to Maria’s election, we are also pleased to acknowledge Pauline Rourke’s election as President of the STUC earlier this year. Representing over 500,000 trade union members across Scotland, Pauline brings a passion for equality in the workplace and a breadth of experience to the role.
Having joined BT in 1979, Pauline was a trade unionist from day one. As a union representative, Pauline has successfully defended workers, won legal battles, and fought to improve workers conditions and pay. Pauline has served on the STUC General Council for eleven years whilst also sitting on the STUC Women’s Committee and the Scottish Labour Executive Committee, as well as holding many positions within the union.
In 2015, she was awarded the STUC Meritorious Award by the STUC Women’s Committee for her outstanding work, on behalf of the trade union movement and women trade unionists in Scotland.
As the first woman to hold the position of STUC President, Pauline continues ground-breaking work within the wider trade union movement.
The election of both Maria Exall and Pauline Rourke to the presidencies of the TUC and STUC is not only a great personal honour but a great honour for the CWU and our members in the Telecoms industry. At a time where the trade union movement is facing many challenges and the CWU faces difficult industrial disputes, we are proud to have such incredible representation at the highest structures within our movement. With working people in Scotland and England facing more challenges than ever this winter, it has never been more important to have vocal trade unionists campaigning for the change so desperately needed in our society.
We congratulate both Pauline and Maria on their elections and wish them well for the year ahead.
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