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History of the ITF

The attached document is the thesis prepared for the University of Warwick which resulted in the conferring of the degreee of Doctor of Philosphy (Ph.D) on my predecessor as General Secretary of the ITF, Harold Lewis. Dr Lewis, who has specialised in trade union  history, particularly that of the ITF in his new post-retirement academic career, took as the title for his Thesis, the History of the ITF 1945-­1965. This period was crucial to the development of the ITF, the global trade union movement as a whole, and the ICFTU, the new organisation for trade union confederations, created in 1949 and to which the ITF contributed the first two general secretaries.

The thesis, covering a period at the height of the Cold War, provides a great deal of fascinating historical information which helps to explain many of the attitudes which continue to apply to international trade union organisations in various countries even  today. 

It is required reading for anyone with an interest in global trade unionism.


David Cockroft, General Secretary of the ITF