International Work

UNISON has links with sister unions throughout the world to share experiences, solidarity work and to involve members in defending and promoting public services.

We have a branch international officer Mukesh Patel who keeps the branch up to date with the international news.


Solidarity work

Solidarity means speaking out when fellow trade unionists are under threat and working with sister trade unions to build their organisations on their own terms.

UNISON is regularly involved in a number of projects which aim to assist trade unions abroad to increase their capacity, to defend their rights and to enable them to promote development by improving the lives of working people and creating a more just society

Some examples of why our international activity matters:

  • Six Zimbabwean trade union activists charged with treason for watching a video about the popular uprising in Egypt.
  • Colombian human rights defender Alfonso Castillo went into hiding after receiving threats from a paramilitary death squad known as the “Black Eagles”.
  • Police raided and shut down electricity unions across Iraq.
  • Unions in Swaziland banned from discussing issues or associate with groups deemed to be “political”.

Working with international organisations

To promote the policies and interests of its members, UNISON works with several international trade union organisations, including Public Services International (PSI), Union Network International (UNI) and the European Public Service Union (EPSU).

Sharing experiences

Many unions in different parts of the world face similar challenges to our own – e.g. privatisation, austerity and inequality. The international unit keeps UNISON informed about international developments on these key issues so that we can better look after members’ interests.

For more information on the international work of unison please follow this link:



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