Sharon James makes history as ITF’s first woman section head

October 29, 2012

25 October 2012

Sharon James *
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Sharon James, who was appointed yesterday by the ITF executive board in Copenhagen to the post of ITF dockers’ section secretary, will be the first woman ever to lead one of the organisation’s industrial sections.

Welcoming the appointment, acting general secretary Steve Cotton said: “Sharon was already a key member of the secretariat team, demonstrating vision and leadership wherever she’s worked. Having her experience and talent at the head of the dockers’ section is a great opportunity for the ITF.”

James has worked for the ITF since 2003 in the seafarers’ and dockers’ sections and most recently as assistant secretary of the civil aviation section. Prior to that she was an international policy officer for the UK Trades Union Congress and also has advocated for asylum and migrants’ rights.

The executive board meeting  –  which saw general secretary David Cockroft announce his retirement next year and appointed Steve Cotton as acting general secretary  –  made two further appointments. It agreed to offer the position of maritime coordinator to Tomas Abrahamsson of Sweden’s SEKO union. And Bayla Sow of the Syndicat Unique des Transports Aériens du Sénégal (SUTAS), becomes the ITF’s assistant regional secretary with responsibility for Francophone Africa.

The meeting also welcomed Said Elhairech, the Moroccan dockers’s union leader who was released from unjust imprisonment earlier this month following a high profile international campaign. Elhairech told the meeting: “I’m only here because of ITF affiliates and only here in this country thanks to help from Spanish comrades.” See more here

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