Trade Unions of the World

An essential resource for trade unionists, labour rights organisations, NGOs, researchers, governments and policy makers, and for anyone interested in the history of labour unions, the right to organise, freedom of association, and worker's organisations around the world.

The new edition contains 198 country profiles, with:

• an up-to-date directory database of all national trade union centres and major sectoral and industrial unions

• a political and economic history of the country

• an overview of current and historical trends in trade unionism and industrial relations

Each country profile in the encyclopaedia is a labour movement fact file and describes the political, economic and legal context in which trade unions operate, outlines key facets of labour law, and looks at the historical development of unions up to the present day. The global compendium contains data on thousands of unions.

'An incredibly useful resource that will benefit many people hungry to learn more about the global labour movement … there's nothing else like it out there … a magnificent contribution', Charles Taylor, Center for Strategic Research, AFL-CIO Organizing Dept*

This historic publication provides the wealth of knowledge of trade union movement and its concerted struggle all over the world both at national and international level the history of their struggle in the various phases and the challenges confronting them […] our sincere appreciate and congratulation to all the members of your esteemed team for accomplishing this encyclopedia of labour movement’, Kurshid Ahmed, General Secretary, All Pakistan Workers Confederation

'This directory provides an excellent overview of trade unions worldwide and the context in which they operate.  It's a critical resource for trade unions, NGOs, businesses, and policy makers',  Danielle McMullan, Senior Researcher - Labour, Business and Human Rights Centre

'Trade Unions of the World is a fantastic resource for trade unionists working on international issues. It is a wealth of information on the trade union movement around the globe, researched and compiled by ICTUR. It gives a valuable insight into the development of individual trade unions and the political environment in which they operate. Trade Unions of the World is well worth the investment!', Mairin Power, Asst. International Officer, UNISON

'Trade Unions of the World is the essential reference for anyone attempting to build international trade union organisation and solidarity.  It is a unique international encyclopaedia of the labour movement, reliable, well-researched, and very readable', Dave Spooner, Global Labour Institute

(*organisations listed for identification purposes only)

Trade Unions of the World also contains profiles on all major international trade union organisations.

Published June 2016. 678pp, softcover.
© The International Centre for Trade Union Rights 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9933556-0-8

Ordering information

Trade Unions of the World can be ordered on this page using the PayPal payment service or by alternative payment methods (bank transfer, invoice, cheque, etc). Please contact us on to make approriate arrangements.

Orders placed online or paid by bank transfer receive a £5 discount, payment by cheque is at the rate of £145 for single copies and £500 for five copies.

Trade Unions of the World: the global encyclopedia of the labor movement / a history of labour struggle and the development of workers' rights and labour organisations around the globe

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Sample country profile: - South Africa


The International Centre for Trade Union Rights

Established in 1987, ICTUR is a non-profit organisation
based in London, promoting international trade
union rights through research and advocacy services.
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