Public Services International Union Celebrates Centennial


[Hat tip to Labourstart]

Public Services International (PSI) was founded on 27th August 1907.

In March 1907, the executive of the German “Verband der Gemeinde- und Staatsarbeiter” (Federation of Municipal and State Workers), based in Berlin, called on “the workers employed in municipal and state undertakings, in power stations, in gas and water works in all countries” and convened the “First International Conference” from 25 to 27 August, 1907, in Stuttgart.

The invitation read: “The purpose of the conference is to bring about an exchange of views on pay and working conditions and on worker welfare in general, to pave the way for support in pay disputes and create firmer international ties for the workers.”

On 25 August 1907, four Danes, two Dutchmen, eight Germans, a Hungarian, a Swede and a Swiss met in the Stuttgart trade union building for the First International Conference of Workers in Public Services. The 17 delegates represented six unions with a combined membership of some 44,500. They talked for three days, mainly about the legal status, pay and working conditions of workers in public services in their respective countries. The unanimously adopted a “Resolution on the establishment of an international secretariat”.

Over the hundred years since that initial meeting, PSI membership has grown to cover some 20 million members in 651 affiliates in 154 countries and territories around the world.

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