The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) was set up in 1949 and now has 215 affiliated organizations in 145 countries and territories on all five continents, with a membership of 125 million. It is a confederation of national trade union centres, each of which links together trade unions of that particular country. The ICFTU cooperates closely with the International Labour Organization and has consultative status with the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council.
The present book is the first history to be written of this important organization. A team of researchers describes the development of the ICFTU’s precursors (the International Secretariat of National Trade Union Centres, the International Federation of Trade Unions, and the early World Federation of Trade Unions), and reconstructs the complicated history of the ICFTU itself, from its origins during the Cold War, through anti-colonial struggles, European unification, international campaigns against Apartheid and many other issues. A final chapter discusses the organization’s prospects in the twenty-first century.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., New York, Oxford, Wien, 2000. 616 pp.
Contents: Wouter Steenhaut: Foreword – Bart De Wilde: Introduction – Michel Dreyfus: The Emergence of an International Trade
Union Organization (1902-1919) – Geert Van Goethem: Conflicting Interests: The International Federation of Trade Unions (1919-1945)
– Anthony Carew: A False Dawn: The World Federation of Trade Unions (1945-1949) – Anthony Carew: Towards a Free Trade Union
Centre: The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (1949-1972) – Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick: Facing New Challenges:
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (1972-1990s) – Marcel van der Linden: Conclusion: The Past and Future
of International Trade Unionism.