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International Confederation of Free Trade Unions

Claiming 157 million members in 225 affiliated organisations in 148 countries and territories, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) came into being on December 7, 1949 following a split within the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

Alleging Communist domination of the WFTU's central institutions, a large number of non-communist national trade union federations (including the U.S. AFL-CIO, the British TUC, the French CFDT, the Italian CISL and the Spanish UGT) seceded and created the rival ICFTU at a conference in London attended by representatives of nearly 48 million members in 53 countries.

From the 1950s the ICFTU actively recruited new members from the developing regions of first Asia and subsequently Africa. Following the collapse of Communist party government in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, the Federation's membership has risen steeply from 87 million in 1988 and 100 million in 1992.

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