THE INTERNATIONAL AND LABOUR OFFICE - Industrial Relations Management

The International Labour Office in Geneva, headed by the Director-General, is the ILO's headquarters and its permanent secretariat. In April 2000, its staff consisted of about 1,900 persons from more than 110 countries in Geneva and in 40 field offices.

During World War II, when for a time Switzerland was entirely surrounded by Axis forces, the International Labour Office and a skeleton staff were temporarily moved to Montreal, where, thanks to the hospitality of the Canadian government and McGill University, the office was able to continue its more urgent work.

The International Labour Office services the sessions of the conference, the Governing Body, and the various subsidiary organs and committees. It prepares the documents for these meetings; publishes periodicals, studies, and reports; and collects and distributes information on all subjects within the ILO's competence. As directed by the conference and the Governing Body, it carries out ILO operational programs that have been decided on in various fields.

The ILO has had nine Directors General—Albert Thomas, France, 1919–32; Harold Butler, UK, 1932–38; John G. Winant, US, 1939–41; Edward J. Phelan, Ireland, 1941–48; David A. Morse, US, 1948–70; Wilfred Jenks, UK, 1970–73; Francis Blanchard, France, 1973–89; Michel Hansenne, Belgium, 1989–99; Juan Somavia, Chile, 1999 to present.

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