Global Unions

International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine & General Workers’ Unions

9 January 2008: By November 2007, the ICEM represented 20 million members through its 467 affiliated national trade unions in 132 countries.

The ICEM Sectors are:

  • Energy: Oil and gas exploration, extraction, production including refining and distribution; Electrical, including Nuclear, generation and distribution.
  • Mining and Quarrying: Exploration, extraction and processing of hard coal and lignite, metallic and non-metallic minerals, clays, sands, gravels and gems. Also, diamond and gem sorting, cutting and polishing, and ornament and jewellery manufacture.
  • Chemicals and Bioscience: Research, production and refining of chemical elements, compounds and products, pharmaceuticals, chemo-technical products, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, plastics, plastic products and components and artificial fibres. Also, research and manufacture of products and materials resulting from biotechnical methods or genetic engineering techniques.
  • Pulp and Paper: Production and conversion of pulp, paper, paperboard and paper packaging.
  • Rubber: Research and manufacture of synthetic rubber and composites and fabrication of both natural and synthetic rubber products.
  • Glass, Ceramics, Cement: Research and manufacture of flat glass, container glass, glass fibres, household glass and all other glass products; all types of pottery, clay and ceramic materials; Cement, non-metallic minerals, composites and products.
  • Environmental Services: Waste disposal and recovery, pollution control, recycling, cleaning and maintenance, laundry, dry cleaning and hygiene services, porterage and security and associated activities.

Main focuses

  • Negotiating and monitoring global agreements with multinational companies - mainly on workers’ rights, equality at work and the highest standards of health, safety and environmental protection worldwide
  • Networking trade union reps within global corporations
  • Coordinating solidarity and support for member unions during disputes
  • Union-building in countries where unions are weak or non-existent, including through donor-funded projects
  • Providing information and expertise on topics ranging from collective bargaining to health and safety standards
  • Representing workers’ interests within the UN, its agencies and other intergovernmental bodies
  • Skills training and development work with trade union officers and rank-and-file union members.
  • Campaigning on a number of common issues, including the escalating use of contract and agency labour and the spread of HIV/AIDS.