Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Bread, Peace, and Freedom

28 November 1949
Founding Congress of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 1949
BG B5/449

The founding of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) in 1949 was a typical product of the Cold War. Immediately after the Second World War, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) was established to incorporate all trade unions of the world. The federation gradually came under Soviet influence. Growing tensions reached a breaking point when the WFTU rejected the Marshall Plan in 1948. In the course of 1949 most of the Western unions left the WFTU. At a conference in London from 28 November to 7 December 1949, delegates from 53 countries founded a confederation of 'free' trade unions under the slogan 'Bread, Peace, and Freedom'.