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Practical solidarity

The ITF encourages and coordinates international solidarity among its affiliated unions, including the sharing of messages of protest, joint boycotts, assistance in strike action and sectional campaigns. The archive collection includes a large number of dispute files dating from around 1954, in addition to earlier correspondence on strikes and industrial disputes. The Federation has run a high-profile campaign against Flag of Convenience ships (FOC) since 1959, supporting the rights of maritime workers. The archive holds records of the Fair Practices Committee, which directs FOC policy, along with correspondence on FOC matters, both listed within the Seafarers’ Section.

Solidarity request from the Sea Officers and Ratings Unions of Israel, 1978Solidarity request from the Sea Officers and Ratings Unions of Israel, 1978


Example of a request sent to the ITF appealing for the support of affiliated unions, in this case help in disrupting the operations of Israeli shipping companies.


[Included in a dispute file on the 1978 Israeli seamen’s unions wage strike, file reference MSS.648/SF/2/1/3]

Trades Union Congress campaign leaflet, 1988Trades Union Congress campaign leaflet ‘Don’t Go Dover P&O’, 1988


Publicity material relating to the TUC's 1988 boycott of P&O at the Port of Dover.

[Included in a dispute file on the boycott, file reference MSS.648/SF/2/1/61]

Letter to the ITF from the Miners’ International FederationTelex from ITF General Secretary Harold LewisLetter to the ITF from the Miners’ International Federation and telex from ITF General Secretary Harold Lewis relating to solidarity with British miners, 1926 and 1984


Examples of the ITF providing support to non-transport trade unionists. Both documents illustrate the ITF’s role as an intermediary - sharing information on the progress of disputes and requesting solidarity in overcoming strikebreaking attempts.

[Letter included in a file of correspondence on the UK Miners’ Strikes, 1926, file reference MSS.159/3/c/289; telex included in a dispute file relating to the British Miners’ Strike 1984, file reference MSS.648/SF/2/1/38]


Publicity material for ITF Civil Aviation Week, 1988Publicity material for ITF Civil Aviation Week, 1988


Leaflet and stickers in English and Spanish highlighting the ITF’s campaign against deregulation in Civil Aviation.

[Included in a file of campaign material for Civil Aviation Week 1998, file reference MSS.648/CA/2/1/119]

ITF flyer, 1997ITF flyer, 1997


Flyer produced as part of the ITF’s Flag of Convenience European Action Week 1997. This long-running campaign focusses on taking action against ship-owners who attempt to avoid national laws, safety regulations and local unions by registering ships under foreign flags.

[Included in a file of papers relating to the European FOC Week of Action 1997, file reference MSS.648/SF/2/2/52/2]