Coalition Promotes Global Labor Solidarity

With 50 million members, labor federation IndustriALL will take on giants

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, 412-562-2450,

(PITTSBURGH) – A newly formed global federation of industrial unions will be a force with the muscle to take on giant international corporations on behalf of workers, the president of the United Steelworkers (USW) said today.

The coalition, known as IndustriALL Global Union, is being formed by a group of 1,200 trade union representatives meeting this week in Copenhagen, Denmark. It joins together three former global labor groups: The International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM) and International Textiles Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF).

“The creation of this massive coalition is a victory for working people across the globe,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “It sends a message to greedy multi-national corporations that we are not going to simply stand by and watch them trample the rights of workers, no matter where in the world it is happening.”

“Our solidarity is not limited by borders, language barriers or cultural differences. We are determined to break down any barrier that divides us so we can do a better job of standing up for the rights of all workers,” Gerard said.

IndustriALL will represent 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors.

“Among the delegates are heroes who have been on the frontline of the fight for democracy and workers’ rights,” said Jyrki Raina, the incoming general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union. “In Copenhagen, we will form a new union family of heroes, with strong bonds, ready to stick together through thick and thin – a new force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world.”

The USW is an affiliate of both the IMF and the ICEM. The USW represents about 850,000 working men and women in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glass making to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments, to the public sector, service and health care industries.