International Trade Union Policy

Head of Project

Mirko Herberg


Julia Schultz

+49 (0)30 26935-7493

Contact persons for specific requests


No democracy without trade unions

If our aim is to promote Social Democracy worldwide, then we must first strengthen unions. Through them, employees can shape society economically, socially and politically –ultimately aiming for decent work and social justice. We support advocacy groups that serve formal and informal employees in becoming more representative, democratic and independent. For this is the prerequisite for a successful mobilisation of their power resources, both locally and across state borders.

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News and publications on international trade union policy

| International Trade Union Policy

Implications of automation for workers in Vietnam

The line between using technology to manage workers and using technology to control workers is a thin one. In an interview with FES, labour expert Dr...

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| Gewerkschaften und gute Arbeit | Climate Change, Energy and Environment | Politik für Europa | Newsslider

The Road Towards a Carbon Free Society

A Nordic-German Trade Union Cooperation on Just Transition. Six reports are presented and discussed in a series of events nationally as well as in...

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| Gewerkschaften und gute Arbeit | International Trade Union Policy

Here’s how unions win the fight to fix corporate tax

All the facts and arguments for unions and workers to achieve a fair tax system: 8 briefings in 5 languages from FES and PSI.

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| Gewerkschaften und gute Arbeit | International Trade Union Policy

It’s time to rein in Amazon's empire

The pandemic has made Amazon the most powerful company in the world. We need to put a stop to its harmful practices by Christy Hoffman (UNI Global...

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Schäfers, Kathrin; Schroth, Jochen

[Shaping industry 4.0 on workers' terms]

[ IG Metall's "Work+Innovation" Project]
Tokyo, 2021

Download publication (2 MB, PDF-File)

Sindicatos em transformação 4.0

Histórias de sindicatos enfrentando o novo mundo do trabalho
Berlin, 2021

Download publication (2,7 MB PDF-File)

Gewerkschaften im Wandel 4.0

Wie sich Gewerkschaften weltweit der neuen Welt der Arbeit stellen
Berlin, 2021

Download publication (2,7 MB PDF-File)

Trade Unions in Transformation

Our project “Trade Unions in Transformation” shifts the narrative about trade unions. Moving away from the standard depiction of unions as victims of globalization, we highlight ... more

International economic and social policy

The world economic crisis has fuelled the global debate over a comprehensive change in the factors shaping the process of economic globalisation. more

International labour and social standards

Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization (ILO)... more

Making trade unions viable in the future

Many trade unions have recognised that they have to undergo change in order to remain or become viable in the global economy of the 21st century... more

Agenda for decent work

With the Decent Work Agenda, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has developed an operationalisation of priorities in the world of work adopted in a consensus by governments... more

Transnational representation of interests

In a globalised economy, effective representation of the interests of employees can no longer take place merely within national borders. more

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How the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung approaches international trade union work

Trade union representation is a fundamental democratic right. It provides a relevant section of the population with the means to help shape the economic, social and political future of society around decent working conditions and social justice. Without trade unions there can be no social democracy!

Our international trade union work fosters social democracy worldwide. We act in close coordination with the unions affiliated to the German Confederation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund - DGB). For the global trade union movement, our foundation is a unique partner, thanks to decades of experience and a worldwide network of field offices.

Our work helps trade union positions contribute to political and economical decision-making. This applies both within the countries where we operate, and at regional and global levels.

Trade unions, works councils and other structures for the defence of employee interests in the workplace can only function successfully when they are representative, democratic, independent, competent and effective. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has made helping trade union organisations to achieve this one of its core tasks.

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