After establishing itself as a trade union, and subsequently the largest workers’ organization that has ever been here in our country, the GWU recognized that a large and dynamic organization cannot move forward and emancipate itself if it remains isolated and is only an organization local.
With this thought in mind, and in the best interest of the Maltese workers, particularly its colleagues, the GWU, a little more than a century after it was founded on 5 October 1943, joined the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). With this partnership, the GWU has achieved the goal of being an active participant in the international community of free and democratic trade unions.
After political unrest that broke out and split the WFTU into two factions, the GWU was among the workers’ organizations from 55 different countries that joined together to create the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) in ‘December of 1949. Thus the GWU was not only a partner from the beginning in this world conference but also its founder.
The membership of the GWU in the ICFTU was proven not only as a prestigious one but also essential so that it could build its quarters where they are today in the Workers Memorial Building in Valletta, so much so that this international Confederation helped financially with loan to GWU. In fact, the first stone of the union’s new quarters was laid in 1960 by J.H Oldenbroeck, at that time General Secretary of this international confederation.