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IndustriALL mourns Lito

4 July, 2014IndustriALL Global Union is deeply saddened at the death of Spanish union trailblazer Manuel Fernández López, or ‘Lito’ as he was affectionately known.

Lito was ex-general secretary of IndustriALL affiliate, the Metal, Construction and Allied Workers' Federation (MCA-UGT), and a former member of the global Executive Committee of the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF).

IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, says:

“Lito forged an exceptionally long career as a trade union leader. In his actions and his thoughtful and appreciated interventions at IMF’s Executive Committee, he demonstrated a deep sense of international solidarity and a special love for Latin America where countries were developing from dictatorships to democracies, with a need for strong trade unions as important democratic pillars of the new societies.”

Lito worked in ArcelorMittal (former Ensidesa) and began his union career as Secretary for Organizational issues in UGT of the Veriña factory (Asturias).

He continued this responsibility at local level in UGT Gijón and UGT Asturias, where he was general secretary for ten years.

In 1988, he was elected general secretary for the Federal Metalworkers of UGT, and reelected in 1990, 1994 and 1996.

After UGT merged with the Construction, Wood and Allied Federation, he was elected general secretary of MCA-UGT, and again reelected until the 26th Federal Congress in Burgos in 2013, when he was voted in as MCA-UGT president.

Lito was also vice president of the Metalworkers’ European Federation (EMF), which later became IndustriALL Europe and vice president of the IMF which merged to become IndustriALL Global Union.

A Board member at Aceralia, Arcelor and Arcelor Mittal, he was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Asturian Socialist Federation and PSOE regional deputy for Asturias for two terms in office and member of the PSOE Federal Committee.

Lito passed away on 27 June 2014 in Oviedo, in his home region of Asturias, Spain. He was 67 years old.