The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
Antony Carew, Michel Dreyfus, Geert Van Goethem, Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick,
Marcel van der Linden
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, Peter
Lang, 2000, 625 pages.
The International Confederation of FreeTrade 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. This volume will be of interest to historians, labour
economists and students of industrial relations and international politics.