The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation is a Global Union Federation bringing together 217 affiliated organisations in 110 countries.
The aims of the ITGLWF are to:
- draw up policy guidelines on important issues for unions in the sectors and coordinate the activities of affiliates around the world;
- act as a clearing house for information of relevance to the daily work of unions in the sector;
- undertake solidarity action in support of unions in the sector whose trade union rights are being denied;
- run a programme of education and development aid to assist unions in developing countries in organising workers and educating their members to play an active role in their union;
- lobby intergovernmental organisations and other relevant institutions to ensure that the interests of workers in the sectors are taken into account in decisions made at international level.
The ITGLWF is funded by subscriptions from its affiliated organisations. Education and development aid programmes are funded by donor organisations.
The decision-making authority of the ITGLWF is vested in its governing bodies, which are representative of union membership worldwide:
- The Congress is the supreme authority of the ITGLWF and meets once every four years to decide general policy. It is composed of delegates from affiliated organisations.
- The Executive Committee meets once a year and is responsible for directing the activities of the ITGLWF and implementing the decisions of the Congress. It provides representation on the basis of number of paid-up members by country and currently includes representation from 30 countries.
- The Presidium meets twice a year and is responsible for the administration of the affairs of the ITGLWF as well as having the authority to take decisions on matters of immediate urgency. The Presidium is composed of the President and fifteen Vice-Presidents.
The General Secretary is Klaus Priegnitz who heads up the Secretariat with a team of ten staff members. Klaus replaced Patrick Itschert who joined the ETUC and who had previously been elected at the 10th World Congress held in Frankfurt in December 2009 following the death of Neil Kearney, who died while on a mission to Bangladesh.
The President is Hisanobu Shimada, General Secretary of UI Zensen of Japan.
While the overall priorities and policies of the ITGLWF are handled at global level, regional activities and relations are covered by the regional organisations. The regionals operate as an integral part of the ITGLWF, though each has its own decision-making bodies and conducts its own activities:
FITTVCC/ORI, the Americas' regional organisation, is based in Venezuela. Contact Laura Carter,the Regional Secretary.
ITGLWF/ERO, the European regional organisation, is based in Belgium. Contact Luc Triangle,the Regional Secretary.
TWARO, the Asian regional organisation is based in Japan. Contact Akiko Gono, the Regional Secretary.
ARCC, the African Regional Consultative Council, is based in South Africa. Contact Thabo Tshabalala the Regional Secretary.
The ITGLWF works closely with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Global Union Federations (GUFs). Together, we have set up Global Unions, a joint website to draw attention to news from the international trade union movement.