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World Federation of Trade Unions

International trade union federation / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) is an international federation of trade unions established in 1945. Founded in the immediate aftermath of World War Two, the organization built on the pre-war legacy of the International Federation of Trade Unions as a single structure for trade unions world-wide, following the World Trade Union Conference in London, United Kingdom.[2]

Quick facts: Predecessor, Founded, Headquarters, Location,...
World Federation of Trade Unions
FoundedOctober 3, 1945; 77 years ago (1945-10-03)
HeadquartersAthens, Greece
Members (2022)
105 million
Mzwandile Makwayiba
Key people
Pambis Kyritsis (General Secretary)

With the emergence of the Cold War in the late 1940s, the WFTU splintered, with most trade unions from the Western-aligned countries leaving and creating the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) in 1949. Throughout the Cold War, membership of the WFTU was made up predominantly of trade unions from the Soviet-aligned and non-aligned countries. However, there were notable exceptions to this, such as the Yugoslav and Chinese unions, which departed following the Tito-Stalin and Sino-Soviet splits, respectively, or the French CGT and Italian CGIL unions, who were members. With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the WFTU lost the largest portion of its membership and financial support. Since the start of the 2000s, the organization shifted headquarters to Athens and recruited new members, claiming to have grown from representing 48 million workers in 2005 to 105 million in 2022.