General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea

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Full name General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea
Founded 30 November 1945 (1945-11-30)
Members 1.6 million (2002)
Journal Rodongja Sinmun
Affiliation Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland, World Federation of Trade Unions
Key people Ju Yong-gil (chairman)
Country North Korea
Emblem of North Korea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Democratic People's Republic of Korea

General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea (GFTUK) is the sole legal trade union federation in North Korea. GFTUK was formed on November 30, 1945 as the General Federation of Trade Unions of North Korea.[1] In January 1951, it was reorganized and adopted its current name.[2] GFTUK is one of the most important mass organizations in the country.[3] It has 1.6 million members.[1]

The chairman of the central committee of GFTUK is Ju Yong-gil[4]

Domestically, GFTUK is a member of the popular front Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland.[5] Internationally, the Federation is affiliated to the World Federation of Trade Unions, which it joined on May 2, 1947. The unions of GFTUK are affiliated to the various branch organizations of WFTU. The head of the international department of GFTUK is Im Jong Gi.[citation needed]

All workers of 30 years of age are required to be members of GFTUK if they are not members of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), the Union of Agricultural Workers of Korea, or the Korean Democratic Women's League.[1]

The website of the Korean Friendship Association states that "(The GFTUK) conducts ideological education to ensure its members fully understand the Juche idea and gets them to take part in socialist construction and the management of the socialist economy with the attitude befitting masters. It has its organizations in different branches of industry." [2] However, the North Korea Handbook states that the GFTUK is not designed to serve its members but the WPK.[1] GFTUK is directly controlled by the Central Committee of the WPK.[6]

Rodongja Sinmun is the organ of the Central Committee of GFTUK.[7]

Former chairmen[edit]

List of unions affiliated to GFTUK[edit]

GFTUK has two types of trade unions, the ones in state enterprises and the ones in private enterprises.[citation needed] Nine industry-specific unions comprise the GTUK,[1] including:[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Yonhap 2002, p. 389.
  2. ^ a b "Democratic People's Republic of Korea_Juche Korea". Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  3. ^ Scalapino, Robert A.; Chun-yŏp Kim (1983). North Korea Today: Strategic and Domestic Issues. Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Center for Korean Studies. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-912966-55-7. 
  4. ^ "Civil servants mark this year's first sports day". The Pyongyang Times. KCNA. 2017-01-10. Retrieved 2017-05-16. 
  5. ^ Lansford, Tom (2015). Political Handbook of the World 2015. Singapore: CQ Press. p. 3330. ISBN 978-1-4833-7155-9. 
  6. ^ "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015: Korea, Democratic People's Republic of". Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Yonhap 2002, p. 425.

Works cited[edit]

Further reading[edit]