Global Unions

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

3 March 2008: The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (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; and all stages of tobacco processing

The IUF is composed of 348 trade unions in 127 countries with a combined membership of over 12 million workers. From its founding in 1920, international labour solidarity has been the IUF´s guiding principle. The IUF builds solidarity at every stage of the food chain, international organising within transnational companies and supporting global action to defend human, democratic, and trade union rights

Strengthening Affiliates The IUF exists to strengthen member unions through mutual support. It does this through: supporting affiliates in organising drives and in conflicts with employers and governments; coordinating and implementing solidarity and support actions; sector-wide organising; research and publications; promoting women’s equality at the workplace, in society and in the trade union movement; and trade union education programmes to help build the strength and independence of affiliated unions

International Recognition and Collective Bargaining From the planting of seeds through the sowing of crops, the processing and manufacture of food, beverages, and tobacco products through to the catering and tourism sectors, no worker in the IUF sectors is unaffected by globalisation. The IUF seeks to create an international union counterweight to the power of transnational companies. We fight for union recognition at every level, including international level. In today’s global economy our goal must be internationally negotiated rights and standards within global companies

Defending Human, Democratic and Trade Union Rights The active defence of trade union, human and democratic rights is an essential part of IUF ongoing activity. Defending these rights is a fundamental class issue for the simple reason that workers cannot organise in defence of their interests, nor maintain the gains they have achieved, in an anti-democratic environment. The IUF gives active support to movements everywhere struggling against oppression. We respond internationally to every attack on our affiliates and on the labour movement. We are committed to building alliances with human rights, environmental, consumer and other organizations in civil society who share our objectives. Regions IUF regional organisations exist in Africa, Asia/Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America. The regions are autonomous, and pursue independent activities in close collaboration with the IUF and its governing bodies. In addition, sub-regional bodies exist to coordinate activity at that level.