International Solidarity

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The CAW has a long, proud and honourable tradition of involvement in issues beyond the boundaries of Canada and beyond the immediate personal interests of our members. The social unionism that always characterized the union within Canada has been equally at play outside. Two of the most notable struggles from our past, with which we became identified were the United Farmworkers in California and the struggle of South African trade unions in the era before apartheid was finally defeated.

The underlying principle was then and continues to be today the simple one of solidarity: whatever our condition and circumstances, all workers share common problems and goals, and if we could support working people elsewhere achieve some of the victories we have already won, that would be a step forward for international workers' solidarity. In a real sense, this is the labour response to globalization - an understanding of the links that bind people around the world as a counter balance to ever-increasing corporate dominance.

Our union was in the forefront of the fight against the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States, which saw our government ratify this corporate bill of rights in spite of enormous popular opposition. We have joined with student, environmental and justice seeking activists in fighting the assault on democracy represented by the current round of trade agreements.

The CAW International Department is responsible for the ongoing relationships with like minded unions and social justice seeking groups around the world as well as the international sectoral central labour bodies known as Global Union Federations. The CAW is directly affiliated to and plays a major role in four Global Union Federations (International Metalworkers Federation, International Transportation Federation, International Union of Food and Agricultural Workers, Union Network International):

In addition, we maintain links within Canada with other groups seeking to bring about more justice for workers and their families internationally. Links with solidarity movements, students movements and those fighting for human rights.

The CAW also negotiates a Social Justice Fund through which we carry out International Development Projects.

Click on the links below for more information about the CAW International Department, or send us an email.

International Labour News click on the link below