Global Union Federation

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A Global Union Federation or global union is an international confederation of national and regional trade unions organized in specific industry sectors or for particular occupational groups. There are 11 GUFs in total, including the International Federation of Journalists, the International Transport Workers' Federation, Public Service International, and the Union Network International. Previously GUFs were known as international trade secretariats. Most major unions in the UK and other countries are members of one or more GUFs, the pattern of affiliation reflecting the industry and occupational distribution of their members. GUFs have become more prominent in recent years, reflecting the forces of globalization and the pressure on unions to cooperate more effectively across national borders. They engage in a broad range of activities including supporting their member organizations, particularly in developing economies, lobbying international agencies to promote workers' interests and human rights, encouraging union organizing and international solidarity action, and in some cases engaging in global collective bargaining with large multinationals and employers' organizations. The latter most frequently leads to the negotiation of framework agreements: statements of principle that commit management to accepting trade unionism and following good employment practice across the subsidiaries of a multinational corporation.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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