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Commonwealth Trade Union Council

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0101 ICS 146
Held at: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
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Full title: Commonwealth Trade Union Council
Date(s): 1979-2004
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 25 boxes
Name of creator(s): Commonwealth Trade Union Council
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

At the International Labour Conference, 1978, it was agreed that a Commonwealth Trade Union Council (CTUC) should be established. A special working party was set up to decide the form the body should take. Their proposals were agreed by the Commonwealth Unions, Nov 1979 and the CTUC was established in Mar 1980. Dennis McDermott, President of the Canadian Labour Congress was elected President and Carl Wright was appointed Director. Patrick Quinn took over as Director of the CTUC, Aug 1988 and Arthur Johnstone became Director in 1994. The executive body of the CTUC was its Steering Subcommittee, on which sat trade union leaders from the UK and Mediterranean, Canada, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Australasia and the Pacific. A general session was held annually to maintain contacts between member countries.

The CTUC aimed to strengthen links between trade unions in the Commonwealth and to provide practical assistance to trade unions in developing countries. It also undertook a programme of Development Education with Trade Unionists in developed countries, aiming to raise awareness of international issues.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions withdrew funding for the CTUC in Jan 2003 and the Canadian Labour Congress reduced its contribution in 2002, halved it for 2003, and made no commitment beyond 2003. The UK TUC agreed to raise their contribution to compensate for reductions, but this payment was to end at start of 2005. A decision was taken in Jun 2004 to wind up CTUC at end of 2004 and it was closed Jan 2005.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Commonwealth Trade Union Council (CTUC), 1979-2004, including papers relating to the setting up of the CTUC from the Commonwealth Trade Union Conference Jun 1979 and report of the meeting of the Steering Subcommittee of the conference on Commonwealth trade union co-operation, 19 Nov 1979. Agenda, minutes and associated documents relating to Steering Sub Committee meetings, 1980-1981; minutes, agenda and papers for Special Meetings of the Steering Committee, 1981-1989; Steering Committee minutes, 1982-2004; minutes, correspondence and other papers of the CTUC Charitable Trust Committee, 1981-2004 and CTUC General Session Minutes, 1980-1997; Subject files arranged alphabetically on related organisations and Commonwealth nations, 1980-2004; Project files containing photographs and papers relating to projects undertaken by CTUC including in the Caribbean, Southern Africa, India, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone; East Africa and West Africa, [1981]-2003; papers from project workers meetings reporting the work done by project workers in various Commonwealth countries, 1991-1997 and agendas, debriefings and memoranda from Project Committee meetings, 1986-1990; CTUC annual reports and related documents, 1996-2001; papers relating to the CTUC 20th Birthday Appeal, launched 29 Mar 1999; CTUC circulars and attachments,1982-2004, including announcement of Patrick Quinn as new Director, 1988 and papers relating to CTUC conferences, 1980-1999.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order

Conditions governing access:

Advanced notice should be given. Some items are closed under the Data Protection Act. Enquiries about access should be made to the Library staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying and digitisation service is available, at the discretion of the Library staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or to quote from original material should be submitted to the Information Resources Manager.

Finding aids:

A partial box list is available at the Library.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received by the Institute, 2005.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Feb 2008

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