Trade unions create ITUC: world labour front against globalisation

VIENNA, Nov 1, 2006 (AFP) – Trade unions from around the world set up a new labour giant, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), here on Wednesday to end decades of internal feuding and strengthen their hand against globalisation.

“I declare the creation of the ITUC, encompassing 306 national unions in 154 countries and representing 168 million workers,” the president of the International Labour Organisation, LeRoy Trotman, said.

The ILO organised the event and Trotman said that he was “conscious of the importance of this event for the future of the international trade union movement”.

The creation of the new body was a show of union solidarity in the face of globalisation, the opening of markets, increased competition and disruption for many ordinary workers.

The world’s two largest trade union movements, the World Confederation of Labour (WCL) and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), had dissolved themselves on Tuesday and were to be regrouped under the new body.

The new ITUC will also incorporate a dozen national trade unions without any international affiliation, such as the French CGT or the Argentinian CTA.

But ITUC is being shunned by the Communist-affiliated World Federation