The aims of the ITGLWF are to draw up policy guidelines on important issues for unions in the sectors and coordinate the activities of affiliates around the world. It acts as a clearing house for information of relevance to the daily work of unions and undertakes solidarity action in support of unions in the sector.
The ITGLWF runs a programme of education and development aid to assist unions in developing countries in organising workers and it actively lobbies intergovernmental organisations and other relevant institutions to ensure the interests of workers in the sectors are taken into account in decisions made at international level.
The ITGLWF is funded by subscriptions from its affiliated organisations. Education and development aid programmes are funded by donor organisations. The Congress is the supreme authority of the ITGLWF and meets once every four years to decide general policy. It is composed of delegates from affiliated organisations.
The Executive Committee meets once a year and is responsible for directing the activities of the ITGLWF and implementing the decisions of the Congress. It provides representation on the basis of number of paid-up members by country and currently includes representation from 34 countries.
While the overall priorities and policies of the ITGLWF are handled at global level, regional activities and relations are covered by the regional organisations which operate as an integral part of the ITGLWF, though each has its own decision-making bodies and conducts its own activities: FITTVCC/ORI, the Americas’ regional organisation, is based in Venezuela; ITGLWF/ERO, the European regional organisation, is based in Belgium; TWARO, the Asian regional organisation is based in Japan; the African Regional Consultative Council, is based in South Africa.