As economic and trading links between countries have increased, workers have developed closer international ties. With world trade increasingly dominated by multi-national companies which operate on a global basis, there has been a growing need for workers in the same company but in different parts of the world to co-operate. The same has also been true of workers employed in the same industrial sectors.
SIPTU has continued the tradition of both its founding Unions - the ITGWU and the FWUI - of building constructive relationships with Unions in the rest of the world. SIPTU is affiliated to a number of international trade union bodies catering for specific industrial or occupational sectors including the International Union of Food and Allied Workers' Associations, the International Metalworkers' Federation and International Federation of Building and Wood Workers' Associations. It is also linked to Uni-Global Union (a federation representing 20 million workers in 900 unions worldwide UNI fosters international solidarity and provides a voice at the international level for all its members).
The Union can avail of the support of these international federations and their affiliates when it is involved in disputes with companies in Ireland that may have interests elsewhere in the world. This international solidarity is a two-way process - with the Union and its members also offering appropriate support to our international colleagues whenever possible. The Union participates in the affairs of the European Trade Union Confederation through the ICTU. The ETUC is playing an increasingly vital role in co-ordinating Union responses across Europe to developments within the European Union.
Building and Wood Workers' International