Globe map in hands

Today, the 11th of March, the International Trade Union Confederation held an extraordinary general council session in Brussels, concerning the Qatargate corruption scandal and the ITUCs special commissions report. 

During the 5th World congress of the ITUC in Melbourne, the congress elected Luca Visintini as the new general secretary on November 22nd.

On December 9th the news was realised by several media outlets that the newly elected general secretary Luca Visintini was arrested among others on suspension for involvement in the Qatar corruption scandal. Mr Visintini was released a few days later but has admitted to accepting cash from the NGO Fight Impunity.  Mr Visintini stepped down as a general secretary temporary mid-December.

The ITUC general council convened on December 21st and decided to create a special commission of former active trade unionists with Eva Nordmark as its chair. The special commission presented their report and identified several points where the ITUC secretariat needs to improve such as creating a anti-corruption policy and code of conduct. Additionally, they recommended a vote of confidence in the general secretary.

On March 11th the general council convened, the Nordic members STTK, LO-N and Saco, voted that they do not have confidence in the general secretary, as the joint Nordic position among the NFS organisations also affiliated to the ITUC is that trust has been lost. Leadership in the trade union movement, at all levels from workplace all the way to the global level, is a matter of trust. We need to trust our elected leaders. They need to have integrity, credibility and leadership ability and we need to trust that they need to give priority to the best interests of the trade union movement and all organised members.

The result of the vote on March 11 at the Extraordinary ITUC General Council was that Luca Visentini had lost the confidence of the ITUC membership and will be dismissed as General Secretary. The result of the voting was 57 no-confidence votes, 12 votes of confidence in Luca Visentini and one abstain.

The three joint Nordic titular’s in the ITUC General Council, Antti Palola STTK, Peggy Hessen Følsvik LO Norway and Göran Arrius Saco jointly express their relief with the result that clearly shows that the confidence for Luca Visentini had come to the end. The ITUC now needs to focus on finding a new general secretary and to focus its efforts on rebuilding trust within the general public as well as its affiliates. We are looking forward to moving forwards and being part of this rebuilding process in the global trade union movement.

11th of March, Brussels