|February 11, 2011
Union Leader Wellington Chibebe elected Deputy General Secretary of the International Trade Union
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary-general, Wellington Chibebe (47), is leaving the country’s largest labour movement this year to become deputy secretary-general of the Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). He will join ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow and Deputy General Secretary Jaap Wienen as a full-time elected official after the ZCTU Congress later this year. “Wellington Chibebe has an outstanding record as a leader in Zimbabwe, defending workers rights and campaigning for democracy, and is a highly-respected trade unionist both in Africa and around the world. We look forward to his talent, energy and commitment being deployed as a key part of our international team,” said ITUC General Secretary Burrow.
Chibebe succeeded Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as the ZCTU’s head of secretariat after the premier quit to join the labour-backed Movement for Democratic Change, formed in 1999. During the past decade, Chibebe has fought endless battles against both government and the private sector, sometimes being arrested by security agents for his tough stance against the violation of workers’ rights, poor pay and deteriorating conditions of service.
Chibebe said that the 175 million member-strong worker representative body, the ITUC, had approached him to take up the influential global position. He will, however, only make a decision following a series of key consultations with the labour movement in Zimbabwe.
“I have requested to start by consulting the ZCTU. If they agree that I should take up the post, I will join the ITUC after our congress, which is around mid-May. I have requested that the appointment be effective following the ZCTU congress. I will be moving to Brussels,” Chibebe explained.