Britain’s Trades Union Congress on Tuesday appointed Frances O’Grady as its first ever female leader.
O’Grady, 52, was the only candidate nominated for the top job at the umbrella body, which covers 58 affiliated unions representing 6.2 million workers in Britain.
O’Grady is the TUC’s deputy general secretary and will take over from General Secretary Brendan Barber when he retires at the end of the year.
“This is a great honour,” the mother-of-two said in a statement.
“Never has a strong responsible trade union movement been so needed.
“With austerity policies biting hard and with no evidence that they are working, people at work need the TUC to speak up for them now more than ever,” the veteran trade unionist added.
The TUC is staunchly opposed to the spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government in a bid to slash Britain’s huge budget deficit.