Member area

Tribute to William Spriggs

08 June 2023

William 'Bill' Spriggs, Chair of TUAC Working Group on Economic Policy 2012-2023

The Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) mourns the loss of William Spriggs – known to us as Bill.

Tributes from President Biden and many others salute his outstanding contribution to racial and economic equality and to his personal as well as professional and academic qualities.

TUAC can only repeat what people have already said about his warmth, his humility, his compassion, his intellectual brilliance, and how generous he was with his time and his contacts. We would also like to pay tribute to his influence and inspiration in his magnificent contribution to the work of TUAC and the OECD.

At TUAC we have lost a friend and an inspiration in his role over the last decade as Chair of the TUAC Working Group on Economic Policy, and a brilliant voice for workers and for equality in the OECD.

Bill brought the daily reality of working people and the workplace into often abstract OECD policy discussion, at the highest levels as well as at the technical level. He was a passionate advocate of minimum wages and collective bargaining to achieve decent and fair wages, and for macroeconomic policy for the interests of working people. He consistently championed trade unions as a vital part of democracy.

Bill embodied the international solidarity and the hard work of trade unions, and he will be sorely missed. His memory will inspire us. The best we can do to honour him is to strive every day, like he did, for social and economic equality – intellectually, politically and by offering a helping hand to those around us.

Bill will be remembered by trade unionists for many significant roles through his career, including Chief Economist at the AFL-CIO, Professor at Howard University, and Chair of the TUAC Working Group on Economic Policy.

Thank you, Bill, for being part of our lives. In our own sadness, we offer our sincere condolences to his family, his colleagues, and his friends.  We have lost a champion, an inspiration, and a very fine human being.