Description of TLD Policies


E1. In General

E2. TLD String

We are proposing "union" as the string.

By the end of the first year of use, we will review, in consultation with ICANN, the technical feasibility of adding 3 additional language "aliases" to the domain (ie. ".syndicat", ".sindicato" and ".gewerkschaft") which correspond to the official ICFTU languages (the languages are French, Spanish and German respectively).

E3. Naming conventions.

Registrants will be free to register names in the second level of the TLD.

All two letter strings (for country codes) will also be reserved. The registry operator will also offer registrations in the third level below these strings.

All one character strings will be reserved for possible future use.

A list of vulgar words (or strings) will also be reserved to prevent abuse of domain registrations.

All registrants will be urged, during the registration process, to follow a set of guidelines on domain name use in the TLD. These guidelines will cover issues of appropriate use, and will be an aid to the sponsoring organisation in its scrutiny of registrations during the start up period (see answer to E.12).

The guidelines, still in draft form, are likely to run as follows:

(a) By following these guidelines, you will enhance the usefulness of the ".union" domain as a whole.

(b) If you are registering a website for your organisation, please use the acronym of the organisation (eg. "afl-cio" or "seiu").

(c) If the acronym of your organisation is already taken, consider using the corresponding country-level "subdomain" (eg "" or ""). The country level subdomains are also available through the ".union" registry.

(d) It would be considered inappropriate use of the ".union" domain to use a name registration to use foul language, either in general, or with respect to another trade union organisation.

(e) Make accurate statements in your Registration Agreement

(f) Ensure that, to your knowledge, the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party

(g) Ensure that you are not registering the domain name for an unlawful purpose

(h) Ensure that you will not knowingly use the domain name in violation of any applicable laws or regulations

These guidelines would subject to review and amendment by the committee described in C11.

E4. Registrars

We want to encourage the accreditation of registrars which can reach trade union organisations, through, cultural, linguistic and regional links. It is our long-term aim to allow a broad range of companies and organisations, satisfying our specified criteria, to act as registrars for the TLD.

They will be selected based on their ability to deliver, their knowledge of the market and needs of trade unions, and based on their respect for worker self-organisation.

Beyond the criteria mentioned above, there will be no other restrictions on the accreditation of registrars in the TLD.

We will propose a weighted tariff structure for registrars, which is detailed in the attached terms of contract with the registry operator.

During the start-up period, in order to help defray the start-up costs of the registry, the registry operator will be the only organisation to offer registry services. After this period, the registrars will be selected by POPTEL in consultation with the ICFTU.

We will ensure that TLD policies are implemented by requiring that each registrar carry a mandatory link to the policies of the TLD, which would be hosted on the ICFTU's website. Representatives of organisations making registrations in the TLD will be encouraged to read the TLD policies, and would also be encouraged to inform the sponsoring organisation of any apparent breaches of the policy at the level of the registrars.

Domain name holders will deal through registrars only.

E5. Intellectual Property Provisions.

E5.1. What measures will be taken to discourage registration of domain names that infringe intellectual property rights?

It will be required that registrants restrict themselves to legitimate non-commercial or fair use of domain names, without intent to divert internet users or to tarnish trademarks or service marks of other entities eligible to make registrations in this restricted TLD.

E5.2. If you are proposing pre-screening for potentially infringing registrations, how will the pre-screening be performed?

There will be no pre-screening of registrations for infringements of intellectual property rights, although, as described in E12, during the start-up period, registrations will be screened in a general way.

E5.3. What registration practices will be employed to minimize abusive registrations?

The restrictions on which organisations have the right to register names in the TLD (documented in section III of this application form) will be the best guard against abusive behaviour.

In addition, the service agreement entered into by any registrant in respect of a registration in the TLD would, like the NSI "service agreement", contain reference to a dispute resolution policy, which would contain the following provisions (or language similar to this):

1. the statements that you made in your Registration Agreement are complete and accurate;

2. to your knowledge, the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party;

3. you are not registering the domain name for an unlawful purpose; and

4. you will not knowingly use the domain name in violation of any applicable laws or regulations.

In addition, during the start-up period (see E.12), registrations will be subjected to greater scrutiny by the sponsoring organisation. Registrations that, according to the guidelines mentioned in E.3, are either potentially abusive or liable to lead to disputes may be temporarily blocked, pending referral to a conciliation procedure (referred to in E.6.1). At the end of the start up period, a decision will be taken by the sponsoring organisation, in consultation with its constituency, on whether this policy should be continued after the start-up period.

E5.4. What measures do you propose to comply with applicable trademark and anti-cybersquatting legislation?

Measures taken would be modelled on, and integrated as much as possible with those in place for the ".com", ".org" and ".net" TLDs. The UDRP would, for the most part, serve this purpose satisfactorily.

This TLD’s primary role is to serve trade union organisations and their members, by giving trade union organisations and activities a clear identity or profile through the domain names which are registered. Since only approved organisations would be able to register domain names in the TLD, these would also be the only organisations allowed to have recourse to the UDRP in relation to this TLD. Article (3a) of the UDRP "rules" claims that any organisation may initiate an administrative proceeding. This would clearly be contrary to the policies of this restrictive TLD. If changes to clause (3a) of the UDRP, acknowledging that restrictions may exist in some cases on who may initiate an administrative proceeding, are out of the question, a new policy, based on the UDRP, but tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of the TLD, might be drafted. The least complicated solution, however, would be to have the restrictions reflected in the "Domain Name Disputes" part of the user-agreement.

E5.5. Are you proposing any special protections (other than during the start-up period) for famous trademarks?


E5.6. How will complete, up-to-date, reliable, and conveniently provided Whois data be maintained, updated, and accessed concerning registrations in the TLD?

Registry Operator will host "Whois" service, as specified in the attached terms of contract with the registry operator.

E6. Dispute Resolution.

E6.1. To what extent are you proposing to implement the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy?

See answer to E.5.4

E6.2. Please describe any additional, alternative, or supplemental dispute resolution procedures you are proposing.

Trade unions work together worldwide. There is a tradition of conciliation among trade union organisations. In order to save trade union organisations the time and cost of involvement in dispute resolution processes, there would be an internally managed "conciliation procedure", which would be applied in cases where parties to a domain name dispute might, upon reflection, be encouraged to agree to share access to a domain name. It should be noted that, in this context, conciliation does not imply any binding agreement to be imposed on the parties to a dispute. Resolution of any dispute through conciliation would be based on the agreement of all parties.

One month prior to initiating an administrative proceeding via the TLD’s Dispute Resolution Policy, the relevant party would be obliged to inform the sponsoring organisation of its intention. The ICFTU would closely monitor any domain name disputes arising, and, should it appear that conciliation would be an option, the parties would be approached, and conciliation offered. Alternatively, a complainant, or a TLD Trustee acting on their behalf (TLD Trustees are defined in Section III of this form), could approach the sponsor and request that a case be considered for conciliation.

Such a conciliation procedure would be run in consultation with the relevant TLD Trustee(s) from the country or countries from which the parties to the dispute originate (and wherever relevant, the competent International Trade Secretariat(s) may also be called upon). If the parties to the dispute are from more than one country, the competent TLD Trustee international organisation(s) would also be consulted. The parties would be encouraged to compromise by sharing access to the domain name in question. The parties could then either take separate sub-domains of the same domain name, or take joint ownership of the domain name (either by running a website jointly, or, more likely, by using the page to link to their own materials which would be hosted elsewhere).

The dispute resolution procedure referenced in E5.4 would always exist as a backup, should conciliation fail to reach an agreement satisfactory to both parties.

E7. Data Privacy, Escrow, and Whois.

Policy in these areas would not differ considerably from those laid out in Articles 7, 8 and 9 of the ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement.

E8. Billing and Collection.

Nothing in addition to the policies described in the registry operator's proposal.

E9. Services and Pricing.

Charges will be established for initial domain name registrations and renewals of domain name registrations. There will be no charge for applications to become an approved registrant (see E.16).

The ICFTU aims to work towards bridging the "digital divide" by promoting greater use of the web by unions from developing countries. In this respect, the cost of domain registrations will be considerably lower for registrants from poorer nations. See attached terms of contract with the Registry Operator for further information on this.

E10. Other. Please describe any policies concerning topics not covered by the above questions.

We propose to work with the registry operator and accredited registrars in marketing the TLD, particularly to trade union organisations in developing and transition countries.



E12. How do you propose to address the potential rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? How many requested registrations do you project will be received by the registry operator within the first day, week, month, and quarter? What period do you believe should be considered the TLD's "start-up period," during which special procedures should apply?

The projected number of requested registrations during the startup period will be provided as part of the Registry Operator's proposal (the projections of the registry operator were worked on jointly by the ICFTU and POPTEL).

The TLD trustees, a core group of national and international organisations (around 250 in number) will be "pre-approved" as TLD registrants. See E16 for further details on this group.

During the start-up period, in order to help defray the start-up costs of the registry, the registry operator will be the only organisation to offer registrar services. The contract with the registry will stipulate that after the start up phase, the process will be opened up, and other companies will be able to act as registrars. The registry operator (in consultation with the ICFTU) will select them.

In order to ensure an orderly build up in use of the new TLD, it is proposed that the start-up period would continue for the first 8 months after the launch of the TLD. The period would be broken down into 3 phases.

1. For the first 2 months of the start up period, only the pre-approved TLD Trustees will be able to register domains in the TLD.

2. Over the following 3 months, the list of approved registrants able to register in the TLD will be expanded. The additions to the list will be organisations given special priority by each of the TLD Trustees.

3. Over the final 3 months, the list of approved registrants able to register in the TLD will be expanded a second time. The additions to the list will also be supplied by the TLD Trustees, and are likely to include any other organisations the TLD Trustees feel should be included from the start in the TLD.

Registrations during this period will be subjected, prior to approval, to scrutiny by the sponsoring organisation, and registrations which, according to the guidelines mentioned in E.3, are either potentially abusive or liable to lead to disputes, may be temporarily blocked, pending referral to a conciliation procedure (referred to E.6.1).

At the end of the start up period, the procedures described in E.16 will apply, and any organisations not already in the list of approved registrants can apply to become an approved registrant.

The projected number of requested registrations during the start-up period will be provided as part of the Registry Operator's proposal (the projections of the registry operator were worked on jointly by the ICFTU and POPTEL).

E13. Do you propose to place limits on the number of registrations per registrant? Per registrar? If so, how will these limits be implemented?

No limits

E14. Will pricing mechanisms be used to dampen a rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? If so, please describe these mechanisms in detail.


E15. Will you offer any "sunrise period" in which certain potential registrants are offered the opportunity to register before registration is open to the general public?

See answer to E12, where the process is described by which 3 "waves" of organisations qualified to register names will be introduced over the start-up period, before the General TLD Policies described in section I and III take over.


E16. In this section, please describe in detail the restrictions you propose to apply to the TLD

Beyond the procedure described in E5.3, and the guidelines mentioned in E3, there will be no restrictions on what use can be made of registrations. There will, however, be restrictions on who may apply for a registration within the TLD.

This is a description of the mechanism which would approve registrants in the TLD. Applications would only be accepted from organisations, and not from individuals. The aim would be to determine whether an organisation would be granted the right to register a domain name in the TLD. Only bona fide trade union organisations (and their ancillary organisations) qualify as registrants. The application process would be independent of the process of applying for the registration of a specific domain name within the TLD, and would be free of charge.

Bona fide trade union organisations would satisfy these criteria:

a) is the organisation (or the organisation of which this is an ancillary) one in which workers participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labour disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work?

b) is the organisation (or the organisation of which this is an ancillary) internally democratic?

c) is the organisation (or the organisation of which this is an ancillary) free from control by government, political parties, employers or other interests?

These are the necessary conditions for the existence of representative workers' organisations capable of engaging in collective bargaining, within the definitions and jurisprudence established by the United Nations' International Labour Organisation.

Applicants wishing to register in the ".union" domain would be asked to provide the following information (web based application mechanism, housed on the servers of the registry operator):

- Organisation name

- Contact person within the organisation

- Contact details (address, tel, e-mail etc)

- Country

- National affiliations (if appropriate)

- Affiliations to international trade union organisations (if applicable)

- Occupational/Industrial Sector(s) (if applicable)

- Type of organisation (options: National Trade Union Centre / National Trade Union Centre ancillary organisation / National Trade Union / National Trade Union ancillary organisation / other (pls. specify))

In the vast majority of cases, applications would not be closely tested according to the "bona fide" criteria mentioned above. Instead, a "fast-track" mechanism would approve the majority of registrants without any need for close scrutiny.

Rapid approval of applications to become members of the ".union" registrant list would require expressed support from a minimum of one direct member of the "ICFTU Family". The "ICFTU family" consists of ICFTU, its 216 national centre affiliates (, the eleven International Trade Secretariats ( and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD ( These organisations would also be automatic members of the list of "approved registrants". The members of this group will be referred to as the "TLD Trustees".

Applications from national, or sub-national applicants, would be actively referred, for support, to 1 or more TLD Trustees:

1. The relevant ICFTU-affiliated national centre (or to the ICFTU headquarters, should no ICFTU affiliate exist in that country)

2. The relevant International Trade Secretariat(s) (based on the sector(s) specified by the applicant) – if an applicant has specified a sector in its application.

Applications from international or regional organisations would be referred to the ICFTU.

Other TLD Trustees could support an application, even if the application were not directly forwarded to them (all pending applications would be available for consultation by TLD Trustees in a password-protected website).

If an application receives no support within 2 months of being referred, it would automatically lapse. Applicants would be informed, on request, of the names of the organisations to which their application was referred. They would be able to reapply, or to appeal a rejected application. These appeals would be dealt with by an adjudication panel (see below). Reasons for the failure of applications would be made available by the ICFTU on request by the applicant.

Once an application is supported, it would be posted for a one-month period of reflection, during which time objections could be registered by any TLD Trustee. If objections were raised, the application would be referred to an adjudication panel (see below).

The month long period of reflection could be waived with the support of a minimum of 5 TLD Trustees.

A registrant’s qualification to register in the TLD may be challenged at any time by any TLD Trustee. These cases would be referred to the adjudication panel. If the challenge is upheld, any names registered by the registrant will be cancelled. The disqualified registrant can re-apply at any time to become a registrant again.

An organisation raising an objection or challenging a qualification would also have the right to withdraw its challenge prior to a case going to the Adjudication Panel.

Adjudication panel: An adjudication panel, appointed by the ICFTU in consultation with TLD Trustees, would be made up of 11 representatives from the ICFTU, ITS, ICFTU affiliates, and a nominee of the Workers’ Group at the UN's International Labour Organization. Panel members would serve in their personal capacity.

If a case is referred to the panel, the applicant would be asked to provide further information about itself, to support its claim to be a bona fide trade union organisation. The requested information would include statutes, membership figures, and any other material considered relevant by the applicant. The supporting materials, along with the application, would be referred to all members of the adjudication panel.

E17. Describe in detail the criteria for registration in the TLD. Provide a full explanation of the reasoning behind the specific policies chosen.

See above

E18. Describe the application process for potential registrants in the TLD.

See above

E19. Describe the enforcement procedures and mechanisms for ensuring registrants meet the registration requirements.

See above

E20. Describe any appeal process from denial of registration.

See above

E21. Describe any procedure that permits third parties to seek cancellation of a TLD registration for failure to comply with restrictions.

See above


E22. This section is intended to allow you to describe the benefits of the TLD and the reasons why it would benefit the global Internet community or some segment of that community. Issues you might consider addressing include:

The benefits of the TLD are its functions:

a) to provide a strong and clear identity for workers' organisations on the Internet;

b) to facilitate the efforts of employees to find and contact trade unions in their country, sector, or enterprise;

c) through its restrictive registrations policy (see Section III of this form) to help internet users identify bona fide trade union organisations, as distinct from bogus unions such as government-sponsored labour fronts, and company-controlled unions;

d) to form part of the ongoing international effort to bridge the "digital divide", by building meaning and utility into the Internet for workers, regardless of country, or economic status.

e) to facilitate employee and public access to a wide variety of union-sponsored services, including apprenticeship and training programmes, health and pension benefits, family and community services, etc.

We expect trade union organisations be enterprising and innovative in their use of the TLD.

Here are some examples of possible usage which, among other things, demonstrates how users will be assisted in remembering or locating names within the TLD:

Organisation names: Of the union organisations which already have domain names, many are either registered in ccTLDs (country-level TLDs such as ".uk" or ".za") or in the undifferentiated ".org" domain. Although unions would be free to keep their existing domain registrations, many union organisations are likely to choose to switch their registrations to a trade union TLD, since the non-commercial profile often associated with domain names in the ".org" domain has been diluted ever since it became unrestricted.

Examples: cosatu.union, afl-cio.union, cwa.union, icftu.union

Geographic or trade descriptions: Reflecting the way unions have traditionally been structured, it is likely that some registrations might come in the form of descriptions of trades or places:

Examples: bricklayers.union, telecoms.union, seattle.union, ontario.union, merseyside.union, southafricanminers.union, american-painters.union

Union-sponsored services: Union-sponsored services to their members such as training, education and apprenticeship, family and community services, communication, etc.

Example: bricklayers-training.union

The TLD would provide opportunities for specialised marketing to organisations in less developed parts of the world (weighted tariff structure would allow companies to offer low cost domain name registration for trade union organisations in over 70 countries which fall in Band D of the tariff structure outlined in the attached terms of contract with the register operator).

We plan to explore, in consultation with our constituency, and in cooperation with the registry operator, the setting up of directory services for all domain names registered inside the TLD. Such an initiative, for the benefit of the trade union community served, would enhance the utility of TLD, and perhaps serve as a model to be followed by other restricted, or unrestricted TLDs.

The TLD would enhance competition for registration services by providing opportunities for niche marketing (ie. to trade union organisations and online communities) based around registrar services.

There is evidence of existing demand for a TLD for trade union organisations. In a recent online poll, 71% of respondent answered "yes" and 8% answered "no" to the question "Should there be a '.union' top level domain on the Internet?".

E23. What will distinguish the TLD from existing or other proposed TLDs? How will this distinction be beneficial?

See above

E24. What community and/or market will be served or targeted by this TLD? To what extent is that community or market already served by the DNS?

See above

E25. Please describe in detail how your proposal would enable the DNS to meet presently unmet needs.

See above

E26. How would the introduction of the TLD enhance the utility of the DNS for Internet users? For the community served by the TLD?

See above

E27. How would the proposed TLD enhance competition in domain-name registration services, including competition with existing TLD registries?

See above



E29. What concepts are likely to be proved/disproved by evaluation of the introduction of this TLD in the manner you propose?

That a restricted TLD can be run successfully by a non-commercial organisation, for a large and well-defined community, which is fully, transparently, and democratically represented through the governing bodies of the sponsoring organisation.

That restricted TLDs set up to serve a well-defined community are a viable and meaningful alternative to unrestricted TLDs.

That the launch of a new restrictive TLD can be rendered orderly and acceptable to the community it serves, by allowing for a start-up period during which groups of organisations are only incrementally added to the list of organisations which are approved to register inside the TLD.

That the operations of a restricted registry can be made more efficient by separating the processes of (a) approving organisations to be allowed to register inside the TLD, and (b) offering domain name registration services to the approved registrants.

That a weighted tariff structure can be deployed, in this case to contribute to meeting the policy objective, pursued by the sponsoring organisation on behalf of the community, of bridging the "digital divide" by reducing domain name registration costs for registrants from less developed countries.

E30. How do you propose that the results of the introduction should be evaluated? By what criteria should the success or lack of success of the TLD be evaluated?

Demand for registrations in the TLD should be sufficient to cover the costs of the registry operation. A significant proportion of trade union organisations should register in the TLD, and have renewed their annual domain name fees at least once.

Other proposals for new restricted TLDs to ICANN, modelled on the ".union" proposal, in the aftermath of the introduction of a ".union" TLD, would be a sign the TLD's introduction has been successful.

E31. In what way would the results of the evaluation assist in the long-range management of the DNS?

It could provide criteria for decisions on other non-commercial restricted domains to be created in the future in other sectors of civil society where there is a strong international element to the constituency (eg. human rights groups, environmental groups, consumer organisations).

E32. Are there any reasons other than evaluation of the introduction process that this particular TLD should be included in the initial introduction?

Many trade union organisations are new to the Internet. This means that many still have to set up web sites. The news of a TLD conceived especially for trade unions is likely to move more trade unions to establish a presence on the Internet. In addition, there are relatively few trade unions worldwide with web addresses at present. Since only around 25% of ICFTU affiliated national trade union centres have their own domain names at present, this will mean that many organisations will not have to change their domain names to establish an online identity with a domain name in this TLD.

By signing this application through its representative, the Applicant attests that the information contained in this Description of TLD Policies, and all referenced supporting documents, are true and accurate to the best of Applicant's knowledge.




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