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ITUC logo.png
International Trade Union Confederation
Founded 1 November 2006
Members 166 million in 156 countries (2006)
Country International
Key people Sharan Burrow, President
Michael Sommer, Vice President
Luc Cortebeeck, Vice President
Ken Georgetti, Vice President
Guy Ryder, General Secretary

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is the world's largest trade union federation. It was formed on November 1, 2006 out of the merger of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the World Confederation of Labour (WCL). The Founding Congress of the ITUC was held in Vienna and was preceded by the dissolution congresses of both the ICFTU and the WCL.

The ITUC comprises the affiliated organisations of the former ICFTU and WCL together with eight other national trade union organisations that will, for the first time, affiliate to a global body. These groups are expected to include the Confédération générale du travail in France and the Argentine Workers' Center. The World Federation of Trade Unions will remain independent.[1]

The ITUC represents 166 million workers through its 309 affiliated organisations within 156 countries and territories. It is led by Guy Ryder.[2]


Inaugural Congress

The founding, and first congress of the ITUC was held November 1 - 3, 2006 in Vienna.

The first day of the congress saw the formal creation of the ITUC followed by an address[3] by Juan Somavia, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Day two included Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) responding to panel discussions on the impact of globalization, including the topics "Cohesion and chaos - the global institutions" and "Global unions - global companies". Technical difficulties limited Lamy's satellite video link participation.

Leadership and officers were elected on the final day of the congress. Guy Ryder, the former general secretary of the ICFTU, was elected to the same position in the new organization. Sharan Burrow was elected president.[4] A Governing Council was established, with 70 elected members, and 8 additional seats reserved for youth and women’s representatives.

A Council of Global Unions was also formed on the final day of the congress. It was established jointly with the Global Union Federations and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).

"The Council will enable us to mobilize global membership around political and strategic initiatives and actions in order to confront global forces that work against the interests of working people and families," − Guy Ryder.[5]


The Pan-European Regional Council (PERC), a European trade union organization within the ITUC was formed March 19, 2007. It consists of 87 national trade union centres and a total membership of 87 million. It works closely with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and John Monks is currently the general secretary of both organizations.

See also


External links



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