| Friedrich Verzetnitsch |
(politician, trade unionist)
|Born||22 May 1945|
|Member of||Trilateral Commission|
|Party||Social Democratic Party of Austria|
Austrian politician and President of the Austrian Trade Union Federation. Attended the 1988 Bilderberg meeting.
Friedrich "Fritz" Verzetnitsch was former Austrian politician and President of the Austrian Trade Union Federation. He belongs to the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ). He attended the 1988 Bilderberg meeting.
Youth and education
Fritz Verzetnitsch grew up in humble circumstances in Vienna. From 1951 to 1955 he attended an elementary school in the Soviet part of the city, then secondary school. He learned the trade of gas and water pipe fitter, which he practiced until 1970. From 1970 he was an employee of the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (ÖGB). From 1973 to 1981 he was youth secretary and from 1983 to 1987 senior secretary of the ÖGB.
In 1987, Anton Benya resigned from his position as ÖGB President after more than twenty years. The union leadership carried out a generation change and elected the only 42-year-old Verzetnitsch as president. From 1993 to 2003 he also held the office of President of the European Trade Union Confederation.
Verzetnitsch in the SPÖ
From 1985 Verzetnitsch was a member of the Federal Executive Committee, later of the Federal Party Presidium of the SPÖ. After two years in the Federal Council , Verzetnitsch became a member of the National Council in 1986 . Today he is a "simple party member".
BAWAG affair and resignation
In March 2006 it became known that the bank BAWAG, which is owned by the ÖGB, was on the verge of insolvency in autumn 2000. The bank had suffered huge losses from speculative deals in tax havens in the Caribbean. To avert possible insolvency, Verzetnitsch assumed liability for the bank's liabilities on behalf of the ÖGB by pledging the strike fund of the ÖGB. He did this together with ÖGB finance director Günter Weninger – at the same time Chairman of the BAWAG Supervisory Board – without informing the Executive Committee of the ÖGB. Since bankruptcy was averted, liability never became effective. However, the ÖGB suffered considerable financial disadvantages when the BAWAG shares were bought back from the former co-owner Bayerische Landesbank a little later, since BAWAG was valued too highly due to the concealed losses.
As a result of the scandal, Fritz Verzetnitsch resigned from all his trade union and political positions on March 27, 2006 – and was dismissed without notice by the ÖGB on April 30. Rudolf Hundstorfer, the chairman of the union of municipal employees, took over the function of the ÖGB president. In the course of the BAWAG affair, the ÖGB submitted a statement of facts to the public prosecutor on June 16, 2006.
Event Participated in
|Bilderberg/1988||3 June 1988||5 June 1988||Austria|
|The 36th meeting, 114 participants|