New global union deal agreed

The joint IMF-ICEM-ITGLWF task force has agreed on a proposal for the financial base of a new global union federation for the world’s industrial workers.

Officials representing the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM) and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) met recently in Frankfurt and confirmed their support for the unifying process of workers in the manufacturing and extractive industries, which would create a powerful counterpart to transnational corporations and for defending trade union rights and organising unorganised workers throughout supply chains into strong and self-reliant unions. The unions want to fight forcefully for good quality industrial jobs and against precarious forms of employment. The task force has agreed on a proposal for an affiliation fee system for a new global union federation, which unites 50 million industrial workers in more than 130 countries.

Progress was also made on the draft statutes for the new organization. The framework for regional and sectoral activities was almost finalized. Further discussions will be held on the size and role of decision-making bodies and the gender balance.

The proposals from the task force will be presented to IMF’s Executive Committee next week in Geneva, and to a joint meeting of the Executive Committees of the three global union federations on May 25.

The process will also be discussed at IMF’s regional conferences this year. If an acceptable result in the talks is achieved, IMF’s Central Committee on December 7-8 may decide to convene an extraordinary Congress in 2012. Similar decisions are expected from ICEM’s and ITGLWF’s decision-making bodies.


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