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International Federation of Tobacco Workers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The International Federation of Tobacco Workers (IFTW) was a global union federation bringing together unions representing workers involved in growing, processing or selling tobacco.


The idea of an international federation of tobacco workers arose in the 1880s in the Belgian and Dutch unions, which tried to interest the German Tobacco Workers' Union in participating. In 1889, a conference was held in Antwerp between the unions, and in 1890, the federation was launched. It was based in Antwerp until 1910, then in Bremen, but became moribund during World War I. It was refounded in 1918, and the headquarters were moved to Amsterdam. By 1925, the federation had 25 affiliates, with a total of 118,000 members. This then fell, and by 1935, it had only 42,000 members, in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.[1][2]

In 1958, the federation merged into the International Union of Food and Drinks Workers' Associations, which renamed itself as the "International Union of Food, Drinks and Tobacco Workers' Associations", although some of its affiliates preferred instead to join the new Plantation Workers International Federation.[3]


In 1954, the following unions were affiliated to the federation:[4]

Union Country Affiliated membership
Danish Tobacco Workers' Union Denmark 8,942
Federation of Tobacco and Matches France 6,000
General Dutch Industrial Union of the Tobacco Industry Netherlands 3,000
National Federation of State Monopoly Workers Italy Unknown
Norwegian Tobacco Workers' Union Norway 1,296
Pan Hellic Federation of Tobacco Workers Greece Unknown
Swedish Tobacco Industry Workers' Union Sweden 1,766
Tobacco Workers' Union Belgium 3,809
Tobacco Workers' Union United Kingdom 20,750


General Secretaries

1890: J. Vendelmans
1892: H. Jughers
1910: Karl Deichmann[5]
1919: Harry Eichelsheim[5]
1931: Ferdinand Husung[5]
1933: Edmund Olsen[5]
1938: Dirk Nak[5]
1952: Alfons van Uytven[5]


1919: Christian Jensen[5]
1934: V. Novack[5]
1945: Marcelle Delabit[5]


  1. ^ Sassenbach, Johannes (1926). Twenty-five years of international trade unionism. Amsterdam: International Federation of Trade Unions. p. 113.
  2. ^ Repertoire des organisations internationales. Geneva: League of Nations. 1936. pp. 286–287.
  3. ^ Docherty, J. C., and Jacobus Hermanus Antonius van der Velden. Historical Dictionary of Organized Labor. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2012. pp. 141-142
  4. ^ Mitchell, James P. (1954). Directory of International Trade Union Organisations. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Labor. pp. 141–144.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yearbook of the International Free Trade Union Movement. London: Lincolns-Prager. 1957–1958. pp. 580–582.
This page was last edited on 3 June 2021, at 19:18
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