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More about TUC International

About Us

Internationalism sits at the heart of the British trade union movement and the key aims of the TUC’s international work extend to:

  • Help build stronger unions
  • Hold multinational corporations and governments to account, secure social justice, equality, human rights, a political framework and global rules that guarantee the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and a new deal for workers
  • Ensure the TUC has strong global influence and relationships in a post Brexit world to promote an agenda that benefits workers in the UK and abroad.

We work closely with our sister trade unions and international structures, such as the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to promote Decent Work and highlight the important role trade unions play in reducing poverty, achieving equality and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We represent workers at international labour institutions and engage in advocacy work with the UK and overseas governments to promote the right to freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining as enabling rights to achieve decent work. We build our relationships with unions around the world, building solidarity where workers are facing repression and joining together against the far right and divisive narratives.

Sign up to our Global Solidarity Update bulletin

Sign up below for our Global Solidarity Update bulletin for the latest international solidarity news and issues affecting trade unionists around the world. Take a look at our previous issues.

To understand how we use your data, please see our privacy notice. You can update your details and preferences directly from any emails we send you. 

TUC May Day Message 2022

Watch the TUC May Day message 2021

Global Solidarity videos

The TUC has chosen 4 priority countries in line with TUC Congress motions, and where we believe we can make a difference, Brazil, Colombia, Turkey and Palestine for international solidarity work. We have strong relationships with sister union organisations on the ground, and we use our leverage and institutional engagement to raise our concerns. These countries are amongst the worst countries in the world for trade unionists, according to the ITUC Global Rights Index and several are also priorities for many of our affiliates.

Watch these solidarity videos highlighting the issues facing each country here:

Video: Solidarity with Brazilian trade unions

The TUC produced a short video to highlight the main issues effecting working people and local communities in Brazil and what unions are doing to resist it.

Video: Solidarity with Colombian trade unionists

Hundreds of activists are still being murdered every year since the Colombian peace agreement was signed in 2016. Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade unionists. Watch our solidarity video on Colombia.

Video: Solidarity with unions in Turkey

We call on the repressive authoritarian government of Turkey to stop human and labour rights abuses of trade unionists and wider civil society. Watch our message of solidarity to trade unionists in Turkey who are experiencing a sharp rise in violence and oppression.

Global Solidarity messages

Watch our latest messages of solidarity campaign videos for trade unionists around the world.

MayDay 2021

International Workers' Memorial Day Covid Memorial Wall



#MilMinutos campaign1

 #MilMinutos campaign2



TUC Global May Day solidarity video 2020

Letters of solidarity

In solidarity with trade unionists around the world, the TUC regularly writes to government officials raising the labour and human rights abuses of working people.

Read the latest letters of solidarity

Contact us

Team members

Senior International Officer

Mariela Kohon,

Policy Officer, Trade and migration

Rosa CrawfordRCrawford@TUC.ORG.UK

Policy Officer, Business and Human Rights, International Labour Standards, Brazil

Stephen Russell, SRussell@TUC.ORG.UK

Policy Officer, Development cooperation, Palestine and TUC Aid  

Sharon Sukhram, SSukhram@TUC.ORG.UK

Policy and Campaigns Support Officer

Robert Maisey, RMaisey@TUC.ORG.UK


Pat Brown, PBrown@TUC.ORG.UK          

The following TUC General Council (GC) members have specific international roles:

Kevin Courtney, TUC GC International Spokesperson

Gail Cartmail, TUC GC International Development Spokesperson

Steve Turner, TUC GC European Spokesperson

Social Media

Follow us online:

Twitter: @TUCGlobal


TUC Global video recordings of past events

Watch recordings of our most recent online TUC international events.

April 2021

Labour7 Summit: Build Back Better with Workers 

Labour7 Summit 26-27 April - Open plenary (26 April)

Labour7 Summit 26-27 April 2021 – Session 1: Democratic Values and Global Action (26 April)

Labour7 Summit 26-27 April 2021 – Session 2: Health & Social Protection (26 April)

Labour7 Summit 26-27 April 2021 – Session 3: Climate Change and Just Transition (27 April)

Labour7 Summit 26-27 April 2021 – Session 4: Prosperity and an Inclusive Labour Market (27 April)

Labour7 Summit 26-27 April 2021 – Closing plenary (27 April)

April 2021

TUC/L7 international conference titled Building back a better world: How economics and institutions can work for labour

December 2020

Trade unions challenging the far-right event

September 2020

Justice for Colombia and the TUC present: Peace and Human Rights in Colombia

July 2020

Organise 2020: Union wins during the Covid-19 crisis

Organise 2020: Organising against the far right

Organise 2020: Online organising – lessons from Australia

Organise 2020: Organising on the climate crisis and just transition

Organise 2020: Spotlight on women organisers

Organise 2020: Building stronger unions around the globe – in conversation with ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow

Organise 2020: Building international solidarity – organising in the most dangerous places in the world for workers

Organise 2020: Amazon – global union organising within a multinational company

Organise 2020: Tackling far-right ideology

Tolpuddle 2020: Building solidarity and stopping exploitation of migrant workers in agriculture

Tolpuddle 2020: Supporting human rights through trade deals

Useful websites

Global Labour Unions and Federations

International Trade Union Confederation

The TUC is an affiliate of the International Trade Union Confederation, a worldwide union network that represents 207 million workers in 163 countries and territories. ITUC’s primary mission is to promote and defend workers’ rights through international cooperation between trade unions, global campaigning and advocacy within major global institutions. The TUC General Secretary, some TUC General Council members and senior TUC staff sit on the boards of the ITUC advisory councils.

Global Union Federations

Global Union Federations are the international representatives of unions organising in specific industry sectors or occupational groups. Some TUC unions belong to the union federation for their sector.

Building and Wood Workers International represents 326 free and democratic unions in the building, building materials, wood, forestry and allied sectors, representing about 12 million members in 130 countries. Its mission is to promote trade unions around the world, and to promote and enforce workers’ rights in the context of sustainable development.

Education International is the voice of teachers and other education employees around the globe. A federation of 401 associations and unions in 171 countries and territories, it represents 30 million educators and support professionals in educational institutions from early childhood centres to universities.

IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors. It is a force in solidarity fighting for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world.

International Arts and Entertainment Alliance (IAEA) The alliance has three sections: the International Federation of Actors (FIA), the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), and the Media, Entertainment and Arts section of the UNI Global Union (UNI-MEI).

International Domestic Workers Federation is a membership-based global organization of domestic and household workers that is made up of both unions and associations.  

The International Federation of Journalists is the world’s largest organisation of journalists. First established in 1926, the federation represents about 600,000 members in 134 countries. It promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation consists of about 700 unions representing more than 4.5 million transport workers from some 150 countries. Its mission is to promote respect for trade union and human rights worldwide, to work for peace based on social justice and economic progress, to help its affiliated unions defend member interests, and to provide research and information services to its affiliates.

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations represents 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. It is currently composed of 388 trade unions in 125 countries representing more than 12 million workers. Founded in 1920, it strives to build solidarity at every stage of the food chain, organise within transnational companies, and lead global action to defend human, democratic and trade union rights.

Public Services International brings together more than 20 million workers represented by 669 unions in 154 countries and territories. Dedicated to promoting quality public services in every part of the world, its members—two-thirds of whom are women—work in social services, health care, municipal and community services, central government, and public utilities such as water and electricity.

UNI Global Union represents more than 20 million workers from more than 900 trade unions in the fastest-growing sectors in the world—skills and services. Its charge is to ensure these jobs are decent and workers’ rights are protected, including the right to join a union and engage in collective bargaining.

Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)

The Trade Union Advisory Committee is an international trade union organization that has consultative status with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and its various committees. TUAC affiliates consist of more than 58 national trade union centers from the 30 OECD member countries, which together represent 66 million workers. TUAC’s role is to represent organized labor’s views within the new organization and to help ensure that global markets are balanced by an effective social dimension. The TUC is an affiliated member.

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

International Labour Organization: The only tripartite United Nations agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member states, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men.

European Trade Union Federations

EAEA European Arts and Entertainment Alliance

EUROCOP European Confederation of Police

EFBWW/FETBB European Federation of Building and Woodworkers

EFFAT European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions

EFJ/FEJ European Federation of Journalists

IndustriAll European Federation for Industry and Manufacturing workers

EPSU European Federation of Public Service Unions

ETF European Transport Workers’ Federation

ETUCE/CSEE European Trade Union Committee for Education

UNI-EUROPA European trade union federation for services and communication

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