IUF: A Workers’ Guide to Private Equity

Source: The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), May 2007

The IUF first drew the attention of the international trade union movement to the growing scale of private equity buyouts in the context of the “financialization” of corporate investment to deliver maximum short term financial returns to shareowners. The secretariat has briefed UK and European parliamentarians on the threat of private equity, established a unique website on private equity in the IUF and other sectors and assisted affiliates in responding to private equity buyouts.

The IUF secretariat has now published a A Workers’ Guide to Private Equity, a 36 page A5 brochure, aimed at IUF affiliates and trade unions and their members around the world.

Available in English, and shortly in French, German, Spanish and Swedish, the publication sets out in accessible language what private equity is, how it operates and the dangers it represents to workers and unions. It points to possible strategies in bargaining with the private equity funds who are becoming increasingly significant players as owners and employers in many IUF sectors. It explains how a specific political environment (deregulation) has made it possible for the funds to expand globally, and how political action can contain the funds.

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