Brendan Barber, the new general secretary of the TUC, is a career official who is a protege of John Monks, the moderate TUC boss for the last ten years.
Mr Barber, like Mr Monks, has spent most of his working career at the TUC.
They are both strong advocates of the "new unionism", advocating a partnership approach towards companies and the government and a drive to organise new members.
And they both believe strongly in the role of Europe as a way of enforcing greater rights in the workplace - and ultimately closer integration through membership of the euro.
ASK BRENDAN BARBER
Quiz the TUC Secretary General about the role of the Unions. Wednesday, 10 September
Mr Barber will have his work cut out for him.
The public sector unions are angry at Labour's plans for greater private sector involvement in the provision of public services.
And a new generation of union leaders is coming into office, who are less concerned about relations with the government and more concerned about grassroots organising.
Mr Barber, meanwhile, has been concentrating on the abuses of the private corporate sector, especially in relation to pensions, as more and more companies abandon their final salary pension schemes.
He is a strong supporter of compulsion, with companies being obliged to provide - and contribute to - pension schemes for all their workers.
He told last year's TUC conference that companies had taken £19bn out of their pension schemes in the last decade, and that means "money is being taken out of workers' pay packets."
And the TUC has also been campaigning on the issue of fat-cat pay.
It has developed some unlikely allies, with both of the big shareholding institutions - the National Association of Pension Funds and the Association of British Insurers - launching their own campaign to limit payoffs to the bosses of failing companies.
Mr Barber has played in key role in the TUC's drive to organise more workers, helping to create the organising academy in 1996 to train organisers.
In conjunction with the new legislation introduced by the government to give workers the right to be recognised by a union, this has helped the TUC reverse the huge decline in union membership that occurred in the l980s.
He also has a key role in resolving disputes between unions, where for example both want to recognise workers in a particular plant or industry.
And he played an important role in reshaping the TUC's communications strategy, trying to make the organisation more open and accessible.
TUC career man
Mr Barber started work at the ceramics industrial training board after graduating from London City University, and working for a year in Ghana for Voluntary Service Overseas.
He joined the TUC in 1975, and rose to become the head of press and communications between 1979 to 1987, and then became head of the organisation department before becoming deputy general secretary in 1993.
Mr Barber has also been involved of the TUC anti-racism campaign, and has recently tried to organise workers to oppose the National Front when they stood in local elections in towns like Burnley and Oldham in the Northwest of England.
On a personal level, Mr Barber is a keen sports fan and sits on the board of Sports England.