The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO), has decided to honor the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) – Tunisia’s largest and most powerful union.
“On March 15, the UGTT received a message from the AFL–CIO announcing its intention to honor the UGTT for its role during the Tunisian Revolution and the transitional period,” stated Sami Tahri, communication manager of the UGTT.
Elements of the UGTT have been credited with playing a major role in the mobilization of demonstrators during the uprisings that preceded the ouster of former Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
According to Tahri, a delegation will be formed to represent the union during an upcoming ceremony hosted by the AFL-CIO.” A ceremony will be held in Washington at the office of the federation. The UGTT will send a delegation to participate in the ceremony held in their honor,” Tahri added.
The AFL–CIO, is the largest federation of national unions in the United States, representing more than 12 million workers. It was formed after a long estrangement between the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, which finally merged in 1955. From 1955 until 2005 the AFL–CIO’s member unions have represented nearly all unionized workers in the United States.
According to Tahri, the AFL–CIO and the UGTT have a standing relationship with each other, and this honor is meant to encourage union activism around the world.
The UGTT was founded January 20, 1946, and has 517,000 members.