José Manuel Torres Couto

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Person.png José Manuel Torres Couto   LinkedInRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, trade union leader)
Torres Couto.png
Born1 February 1947
Porto, Portugal

José Manuel Torres Couto is a Portuguese trade unionist and politician. He attended the Bilderberg Group Meeting in 1985, as Secretary General of the trade union UGT.


He began his professional activity as a student worker at the textile company INTERCORTE, in the industrial belt of Porto, at the age of 18. In this capacity, he also collaborated in the National Institute of Work and Pensions, in the Conciliation and Judgment Commissions. Returning from military service, which he did during the Colonial War in Guinea (where he ran the newspaper ZOE), he joined the Companhia de Seguros Império. In this company he was a member of the Workers' Commission and union delegate.

He was co-founder and first secretary general — from 1978 to 1995 — of General Workers Union (UGT), left the plant in 1995, because of the so-called European Social Fund process. This abandonment turned out to be the beginning of the end of a brilliant career, in unionism and politics[1].

In addition to positions in the trade union area, Torres Couto was a deputy in three legislatures to the Assembly of the Republic for the constituencies of Lisbon, Leiria and Setúbal, having been head of the Socialist Party (Portugal) list in the last two. He was a member of the European Parliament from 1989 to 1999, having been a member of the Economic and Monetary Commission, Social Affairs and Employment, and External Economic Relations.[2]

On July 13, 1981 he was made Commander of the Civil Order of Agricultural and Industrial Merit Industrial Class.[3]


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/198510 May 198512 May 1985New York
Arrowwood of Westchester
Rye Brook
The 33rd Bilderberg, held in Canada
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