The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) is composed of associated and affiliated trade unions representing the collective interests of about 130 million workers from 120 countries worldwide. The WFTU therefore proclaims its prime objective is to contribute to the emancipation of the working people by means of struggle:
  • against all forms of exploitation of people and for obtaining and guaranteeing living and working conditions for all workers which would allow them the widest possible benefits from the fruits of their labour, in order to obtain for them and their families the time and the means to live in conditions appropriate to our epoch which is one marked by the headlong progress of science and technology;
  • against colonialism, imperialism, domination and expansionism in the economic, social, political and cultural spheres; for the elimination of racism and underdevelopment; to guarantee sovereignty, freedom and security of nations, non-interference in their internal affairs, respect for their political, economic and social independence and the establishment of a new and just international economic order;
  • for the right to full employment and the guarantee of this right;
for full and adequate social security legislation to protect workers and their families in the event of sickness and old age, and every other type of assistance and social security;
  • for training, education and culture for all workers, thus enabling them to gain access to any responsibility or position within their capabilities;
  • for protection of the working environment, effective measures to maintain and promote ecological standards and sustainable development;
  • for the achievement of social, economic and political democracy, the defence and development of workers' and trade unions' rights and freedoms, respect for human rights and the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Trade Union Rights;
  • for the prevention of a nuclear war and the dissolution of all military alliances and blocs; against aggression and war and to promote international detente, the establishment of a just and lasting peace, peaceful coexistence and mutually advantageous cooperation amongst all peoples and among States; an end to the arms race, especially in nuclear arms and the total prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons; and progressive arms reduction leading to general and complete disarmament.

The WFTU seeks to realize the aforementioned objectives by organizing and coordinating international solidarity actions; disseminating information; organizing seminars and conferences; assisting in capacity building; conducting research and training activities; and representing its union affiliates in international and inter-governmental institutions.

As part of its efforts to advance its international agenda, the WFTU develops working partnerships with national and industrial trade unions worldwide as well as with a number of international and regional trade union organizations including the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), the International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions (ICATU), the Permanent Congress of Trade Union Unity of Latin America (CPUSTAL), the General Federation of Trade Unions of CIS.

The WFTU holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the ILO, UNESCO, FAO, and other UN agencies. It maintains permanent missions in New York, Geneva, and Rome.

The following Trade Unions Internationals are constituted within the WFTU:

  • Trade Unions International of Agriculture, Food, Commerce, Textile, and Allied Industries
  • Trade Unions International of Public and Allied Employees
  • Trade Unions International of Energy, Metal, Chemical, Oil and Allied Industries
  • Trade Unions International of Transport Workers
  • Trade Unions International of Building, Wood and Building Materials Industries
  • World Federation of Teachers Unions