GENEVA (ILO News) – The Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO) today officially granted general consultative status to the newly-formed International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The ITUC was founded in Vienna on November 1st by trade unions affiliated to the now dissolved International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and World Confederation of Labour (WCL) joined by a number of other national trade union organizations. The new, federation of 307 member unions in 154 countries with 168 million individual members was formed to give workers worldwide a stronger voice in meeting the challenges of globalization. Its constitution and programme pledge full support for the ILO and its mission of promoting decent work for all and a fair globalization.
The new organization "shows a trade union movement willing to make unity a source of renewed strength for the challenges of the 21st century" said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. "The ITUC is going to be an important partner for us all. It will give further impetus to the development of social dialogue."
In his address to the members of the Governing Body, the newly elected ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder, presented his organization as "the most representative, unified international trade union in the history of our movement". Mr. Ryder said the aims set out in the ITUC constitution include strengthening the role of the ILO and the setting and universal application of international labour standards.
"The ITUC programme elaborates on that obligation, expressing strong support for the ILO's historic mandate and for its decent work agenda, and welcoming the opportunities flowing from the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization," he added.
Mr. Ryder also said that the ITUC would pursue dialogue with international employers' organizations and governments, adding, "We will not always agree, but it is in the sincere and principled search for the resolution of our differences that we will generate social progress".
The executive vice president of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), Mr. Daniel Funes de Rioja welcomed the ITUC on behalf of the employers' members of the ILO Governing Body. He lauded the willingness of the new organization in building solutions for a better world, based on social dialogue.