Beyond Growth 2023 Conference.
General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
Esther Lynch is the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.
Previously, Ms Lynch was Deputy General Secretary at the ETUC from 2019 to 2022, following four years as Confederal Secretary. Esther led on social dialogue, collective bargaining and wage policy, trade union rights, gender equality. She has extensive trade union experience at Irish, European and international levels, starting with her election as a shop steward in the 1980s. Before coming to the ETUC, she was the Legislation and Social Affairs Officer with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), where she took part in negotiations on Ireland’s National Social Partner Agreements.
As Deputy General Secretary and as Confederal Secretary she led successful actions aimed at improving workers and trade union rights in legislative initiatives such as the Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages, the Transparent and Predicable Working Conditions Directive and the Whistleblowing Directive, she also ran a successful campaign that mobilised support for the European Pillar of Social Rights andthe ETUC’s ‘Europe Needs a Pay Rise’ campaign. In addition to securing the adoption of 15 legally binding occupational exposure limits to protect workers from exposure to carcinogens, as well as concluding social partners’ agreements on digitalisation and on reprotoxins. A lifelong feminist, Esther is pushing for measures to end the undervaluing of work predominantly done by women.