Tennessee116/Free Trade Union
|Free Trade Union|
The Free Trade Union is an employee-owned corporate entity that primarily operates in the territory of the Sol Central Government. A shipping cartel, it consists of loosely-associated merchants and cargo haulers trying to make their way around the bigger fish of the galaxy. Their presence can be found across almost all of Human-controlled space.
Nobody precisely knows how the Free Trade Union came to fruition. Most sources claim that it started in the system of Theia as a conference of independent merchants campaigning against larger corporations like Hephaestus Industries. Other sources claim it was a rich shipping baron who simply bought out other merchants to form a merchant fleet.
In 2285, before the onset of the Gaia Conflict, the FTU made interstellar news for operating in both the SCG in the Independent Colonial Confederation of Gilgamesh, despite rising tensions between the two nations. The conglomerate declared that, as their name states, they operate under the principles of free trade.
After years of debate, the FTU began accepting Unathi merchants in 2991. They would later establish the Moghes Department 12 years later, granting an Unathi the title of Merchant Admiral.
The FTU is not a company, however its total presence is treated as one. It is lead by the general secretary, who is elected triennially by the captain of each registered vessel in the union. All major decisions are annually voted upon by captains of registered vessels as well.
The FTU is split into various localities, called departments. These departments are each headed by a Merchant Admiral, many of whom are well-financed and fund major portions of the union. These Merchant Admirals will often exploit their captainship of multiple FTU-owned vessels at once to gain more voting power.
Notable sites and vessels
FTS Capitalist's Rest
The Free Trade Station Capitalist's Rest is the official headquarters of the FTU, to which all departments answer to. It is a massive, heavily-modified station in Barnard's Star that the union bought off Zeng-Hu Pharmaceuticals, who used it for virological research. It is always bustling with mercenaries, merchants, captains, or simple people looking for work.
The Free Trade Station Cybele houses the Sol Department of the FTU. The largest department in the union, the Cybele is constantly packed with massive cargo haulers as it orbits Ceres.