World Federation of Trade Unions

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The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) is an international labour federation founded in 1945.

Founding conference

The first conference took place in Paris from 5 September to 8 October 1945. 56 countries were represented at the meeting which founded a Prague-based federation. Walter Citrine of the British TUC was elected as President and Louis Saillant of the French Communist CGT was elected as Secretary-General. John Brophy of the American CIO defied his federation's President Phil Murray, by refusing to take a position as WFTU vice-president because of Communist influence. The rival American Federation of Labor boycotted the conference and the WFTU.[1]

ICFTU walkout

Cold war rivalries let to a walkout in 1949 by a number of western-oriented unions to form the rival International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.[2]

External Resources


  1. Ben Rathbun, The Point Man, Irving Brown and the Deadly Post-1945 Struggle for Europe and Africa, Minerva Press, 1996, pp.125-127.
  2. Foundation, World Federation of Trade Unions, 23 March 2012.