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trade unions organized on the industrial principle, whereby blue-collar and white-collar workers in the same plant or industry belong to a single union. Unlike craft unions, trade unions organized on the industrial principle (one union local for each plant and one union for each industry) make it possible to overcome the fragmentation of workers in different trades and to draw large numbers of unskilled as well as skilled workers into the trade unions.
The movement to establish unions on the industrial principle, rather than on the prevailing craft principle, gained momentum in the early 20th century. Under the impact of the rising mass labor movement in the capitalist countries, the industrial principle triumphed in a number of union organizations, including the General Confederation of Labor in France, the Italian General Confederation of Labor, and many unions in Great Britain and the USA. The unions in the USSR and other socialist countries are organized on the industrial principle.