Regionalizing Ilmos: The Trade Union Confederation of the Americas at 10.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:50
Oral Presentation
Thomas COLLOMBAT, Universite du Quebec en Outaouais, Canada
For most of their history, International Labour Movement Organisations (ILMOs) have been split between those representing unions from the same industry and those gathering multi-sectoral union centres. Today, the former are known as Global Union Federations (GUFs) whereas the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) remains the only significant incarnation of the latter. Although not formally affiliated with each other, it is difficult to think about GUFs without taking into consideration the ITUC, and vice-versa. Together, they represent most of what can be considered today as the institutional international labour movement.

Both the ITUC and GUFs have found ways to structure their regional presence across the world. In the Americas, the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) is the regional arm of the ITUC. Founded one year after the 2006 merger between the ICFTU and the WCL, the TUCA both inherited the conflicted past of the Organización Regional Interamericana de Trabajadores (ORIT, ICFTU’s regional branch) and embodied the hopes of Latin American trade unions to be recognized internationally and to have their voice heard.

This paper will aim at taking stock of the first decade of existence of the TUCA by looking more specifically at 3 dimensions: (1) the internal balance of power between its affiliates and the political identity it led to; (2) the strategies the TUCA has been using to influence economic governance in the region, in particular by transferring the ITUC repertoires of action at the regional level; (3) the ways it tried to influence the ITUC itself by putting forward its distinctive agenda at the global level.