More than a thousand delegates, representing 50 million workers in 140 countries, will be meeting to establish a new global union federation for the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors at a special conference in Copenhagen.
On Tuesday June, 19 a new trade union be launched at the Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark. The union is to be called IndustriALL, and it will focus on representing workers within the manufacturing sector who are employed by multinational corporations (a corporation enterprise that manages production or delivers services in more than one country).
According to the international textile workers union (ITGLWF) website, the new organization will bring together affiliates of the former global union federations: International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) and International Textiles Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF).
The industrial sectors covered, Fibre2Fashion notes, by the new union will include oil and gas, mining, generation and distribution of electric power, to manufacturing of metals and metal products, shipbuilding, automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, electronics, chemicals, rubber, pulp and paper, building materials, textiles, garments, leather and footwear and environmental services.
Quoted on the pro-union website Building Power, Jyrki Raina, the in-coming general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, is quoted as saying "IndustriALL will challenge the power of multinational companies like Rio Tinto and BHP. IndustriALL will fight for a new model of globalization, a new economic and social model that puts people first, based on democracy and social justice."
The formation of the new union is part of the recent trajectory of trade unions, towards national trade union organizations working together to counter the activities of multinational corporations. Until now, however, this has largely been through regional and global bodies. The formation of a global union, for the manufacturing sector, heralds a new direction for organized labor.