The links below provide an insight into the excellent information and campaigns performed by Global Union Federations (GUFs) including news on mergers to enhance union power:

International Trade Union Confederation

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is the world’s largest trade union federation. It was formed on November 1, 2006 out of the merger of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the World Confederation of Europe (WCL). The ITUC represents 175 million workers through its 311 affiliated organisations within 155 countries and territories. Sharan Burrow is the current General Secretary.

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations

The IUF is an international federation of trade unions representing workers employed in

  • agriculture and plantations
  • the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages
  • hotels, restaurants and catering services
  • all stages of tobacco processing

The IUF is currently composed of 336 trade unions in 120 countries representing a combined representational membership of over 12 million workers (including a financial membership of 2.7 million).


Trade unions from around the world agreed on plans to establish IndustriALL Global Union in June 2012. The new global union will represent workers in manufacturing, energy, mining, and textile sectors at the global level. The new global union will bring together affiliates of International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM), the International Textile, Garment, Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), and the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF).

International Transport Workers’ Federation

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is an international trade union federation of transport workers’ unions. Any independent trade union with members in the transport industry is eligible for membership of the ITF. 690 unions representing over 4.5 million transport workers in 153 countries are members of the ITF. It is one of several Global Federation Unions allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

UNI Global Union

UNI Global Union is the voice of 20 million service sector workers around the world. Through 900 affiliated unions, UNI represents workers in 150 countries and in every region of the world. UNI represents workers in the Cleaning & Security; Commerce; Finance; Gaming; Graphical & Packaging; Hair & Beauty; ICTS; Media, Entertainment & Arts; Post & Logistics; Social Insurance; Sport; Temp & Agency Workers and Tourism industries.

Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry and Allied Sectors

The BWI is the Global Union Federation grouping free and democratic unions with members in the Building, Building Materials, Wood, Forestry and Allied sectors.  The BWI groups together around 328 trade unions representing around 12 million members in 130 countries. The Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. Regional Offices and Project Offices are located in Panama and Malaysia, South Africa, India, Burkina Faso, Curaçao, Chile, Kenya, Russia, Peru, Brazil and Thailand.

Public Services International

Public Services International brings together more than 20 million workers, represented by 650 unions in 148 countries and territories. We are a global trade union federation dedicated to promoting quality public services in every part of the world. Our members, two-thirds of whom are women, work in social services, health care, municipal and community services, central government, and public utilities such as water and electricity.

Global Unions

Global Unions are international trade union organisations working together with a shared commitment to the ideals and principles of the trade union movement. They share a common determination to organise, to defend human rights and labour standards everywhere, and to promote the growth of trade unions for the benefit of all working men and women and their families.

Education International

Education International is the voice of the teachers and other education employees across the globe. A global federation of about 400 unions in more than 170 countries and territories, it represents 30 million teachers and education employees in education institutions from early childhood to university.

International Federation of Journalists (IFJT)

The organisation aims to protect and strengthen the rights and freedoms of journalists.  The federation represents journalists in more than 100 countries and has around 600,000 members.

The International Arts and Entertainment Alliance (IAEA)

It is made of 3 global federations:

FIA (International Federation of Actors)
FIM (International Federation of Musicians)
UNI-MEI (Media, Entertainment and Arts division of UNI)

International Labour Organisation

The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only ‘tripartite’ United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating ‘real world’ knowledge about employment and work.