On tonight's political programme, Helen Ford talks to the region's new General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress.
Beth Farhat explains that her priority is to campaign for higher wages, to improve people's health and reduce their risk of falling into debt:
You can see the full interview on Around The House tonight (Thursday 11th July) at 11.35pm.
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There are 32 candidates standing in the Tees Valley area for the 2017 General Election