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FESETE – Portuguese Federation of the Textile, Wool, Clothing, Footwear and Leather Trade Unions

- Portuguese Trade Union Organization


FESETE is a Private Law Body/Non-profit/National/Trade Union Organisation. It represents at the sectorial level the Portuguese Unions of the Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Leather Industry. At a national level is affiliated to CGTP-IN (National Confederation) and at European level is part of the Executive Committee of the IndustriAll – European Trade Union – the sectorial organization of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).


FESETE’s main objective is to support and promote the enforcement of the workers fundamental rights namely, the right to work and job security, the right to a fair wage, the right to equal pay for a work of equal value, the right to health and safety at the work places, the right to liberty, union activities and workers committees, the right to the collective agreements, the specific rights for the children, teenagers and women, the right for training, the right to social security and health care;


FESETE also plays an important role: To accomplish the collective labour agreements and participate in the preparation of other instruments of collective labour regulation; To intervene and participate in the modernization of the sector and the restructuring of the companies with the aim of protecting the workers interests; To participate in the preparation of legislation concerning the workers and the sector, as well as, monitoring the implementation of the economic and social plans; To develop the contacts and the cooperation with similar organizations of other countries and consequently the solidarity between workers from all the world, in particular from the sector; To promote own initiatives in cooperation with other union associations and other public and private entities aiming the training, through its Training Center for the textile, clothing and footwear workers (CEFOTEX), of the young for the labour market needs and adults aiming the skills update necessary to follow the technological development and professional conversion.



GWU – General Workers Union

 -   Maltese Trade Union Organization


Since the GWU was founded in 1943 and the subsequent revival of the Maltese Labour Movement immediately after World War II, the General Workers' Union and the Malta Labour Party worked fervently towards the same aims thus enhancing the well being of the Maltese population in general and the working class in particular. The labour movement was solidified in May 1978 when the Union's National Council and the Labour Party's Executive Committee signed a socio-political pact leading to the fusion of the two organisations. The pact was based on three principles: (a) a union-party Liaison structure; (b) representation on each other's executive committees and (c) representation of the GWU in the Cabinet of Ministers during Labour Governments. One has to note that the offer for a seat in the Cabinet of Ministers was made to all trade unions, however it was the GWU only that accepted the offer. This meant that the Maltese trade unions, other than the GWU, lost the opportunity to discuss labour relations at the nation's highest executive level.

The development in the party-union relations resulted in a healthy social security system that gradually transformed the Island into a modern an efficient welfare-state that cared for the people from the cradle to the grave.  During such time, Malta saw the introduction of various social benefits, namely the establishment of a minimum wage, childrens' allowances, improved unemployment benefits,  and a two-thirds pension system. All thgis pushed to a heightened level the standard of living of the working class. The most important and radical changes were achieved between 1971 and 1980 during the social democratic rule by the Malta Labour Party.

One can easily point out that through its endeavours, the GWU revolutionised the local world of work in while always playing a leading role in most social changes and reforms - very often radical - that were introduced in the country along the years.

To fulfill effectively its aims the GWU sought to give its contribution in the political, social and economic life of the country. This task was of benefit to both the union's members and the public at large.

In this sense one cannot draw a line and separate the GWU from the social and economic progress in Malta. This is only one logical consideration. The importance and the influence of the GWU, coupled with its achievements make it an indispensable national institution. 




DISK Tekstil – Textile Workers Union

 - Turkish Trade Union Organization


DISK Tekstil 

There are 1 million formal textile and leather workers in Turkey and the unionization rate of the seven unions is 8.6% and the percentage of workers covered with collective agreement is less than 3% in which only three of them, including DISK Textile could pass national sector threshold. Before the new legislation, leather sector was separated from the textile sector and with the new Act, textile and leather sectors were combined.


DISK Tekstil is a prominent union in Turkey established in 1965. Before 1980, it has over 100 thousand members. Our Union was closed down by the military government and its executive committee members were arrested. In early 1990s, DISK Tekstil was re-opened and reached to ten thousand members in a short while. However in 2001, Turkey faced a huge economic crisis and especially in textile sector, textile companies could not stand against hard competition coming from China, Pakistan and Indonesia and these huge challenges in textile sector had a consequence of huge withdrawal of all trade unions.


DISK Tekstil has started a new organizational leap. Our current member figure is 11 thousand. We have branches in 7 industrial regions. We sign collective agreements in large and foreign textile companies and many medium scale firms. We move with a strategic perspective in organizing textile, leather and footwear sectors.


In Turkey, there are three labour union confederations, Türk-İş, Hak-İş and DİSK - all members of ITUC and ETUC, and one employer union confederation, TİSK.


DİSK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey) was founded in 1967. DİSK has 19 affiliate unions. In 70s DİSK had its strongest period with its active struggle. In 1980 coup d’etat, military government banned DİSK till 1992 when it re-opened.