Free Trade Union
"When the elite unite, we have the formation of the corrupt governments and greedy bureaucratic institutions. This elite starts creating taxes and laws so they can preserve their power and their status quo, limiting the power from honest corporations, small businessmen, and the common people. The disenfranchised individuals hold a certain kind of power, however, if we combine them into a network of unions. We decentralize the status quo and the bureaucratic institutions, opening the doors for the inclusion of everyone into the market[...]" Issac Adler, founder of the Free Trade Union, from his book The Market, The People, and Other Things
The Free Trade Union is different from other tran-stellars in that they are not just a company, but they are a big conglomerate of various traders and merchants from all over the galaxy. They control a sizable fleet of vessels of various sizes which are given autonomy from the central command to engage in trading. They also host a fleet of combat vessels which respond directly to the central command for defending traders when necessary. They are in control of many large scale trade stations across the known galaxy, even in non-human space. Generally, they are multi-purpose stations but they always keep areas filled with duty-free shops. Almost anything is sold there and products that are forbidden or have insanely high taxes in other places are generally sold in the duty-free shops at very cheap and low prices.
They are the creators of the Tradeband language, created specially for being a lingua franca where every merchant can understand each other independent of language or nationality.
The Free Trade Union was created in 2410 by Issac Adler, a merchant, economist, and owner of a small fleet of ships. At this time the "Free Merchants" were in decay because of the high taxes and tariffs that were generally applied on the products that they tried to import or export. Another issue was that big trans-stellar corporations were constantly blocking their products to prospective buyers in order to form their monopolies. Issac decided to organize the "Free Merchants" into a legitimate organization to lobby and protest against the unfair practices of the major corporations and the governments that were in their pocket. At the same time, they wanted to organize and sell their things at better prices. The organization started relatively small but by 2450 it became one of the biggest conglomerates with a significant amount of the merchants of the galaxy being a part of the FTU. At the same time, the Free Trade Union started to popularize tradeband in the galaxy as the language of business. Around 2500, the majority of independent merchants were part of the FTU with significant influence on the galactic scale. They have started to invest in colonization efforts in order to take early claim of the frontier systems as the best choice for frontier traders.
Despite the accusations of artificially fixing prices and forming cartels, the FTU stays as one of the biggest organizations in the galaxy with a large influence on the exchange of trade goods. Their fleet of merchants are some of the most efficient in the galaxy and their space stations are highly profitable. However, the success of the Free Trade Union attracted the ire of the trans-stellar corporations and the governments that support them. Despite it all, the trade continues to flow like a well-oiled machine, wild and free as it is.